10 things you should know when your Addict/Alcoholic comes home
1. While they have the same name they are not the same person. A lot has changed both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. While you may not see if for awhile, it has occurred. The change can be hard to swallow when you have become accustomed to old behaviors and routines. In reality we should work on on ourselves while they work on themselves.
2. They may easily get bored if they do not return to work; even if they do, in most treatments, they have become accustomed to long, emotionally challenging days. They have told new friends, strangers to us, things they've held in for years, perhaps even lifetimes. They will become bored with mundane things; it’s and adjustment.
3. They can become forgetful or lack a memory that is age appropriate. This is completely normal and frustrating. Yes, for you, but mostly for them. Imagine the embarrassment of forgetting that you've not celebrated anniversaries or you think something that happened yesterday was actually earlier in the day. I've been informed that slowly but surely the memory returns.
4. While they run their steps, they maybe become easily upset or even depressed. Admitting the things they carry is not easy and then sharing them-- that's even harder. However, it's part of the healing and recovery process.
5. Depending on the addiction at some point the addict/alcoholic becomes sugar hungry. While for some people this is early on, for some it can come months later. Just remember they have been filling their bodies with junk for a very long time. I have been told sometimes it passes or sometimes soda or hard candy becomes a substitute.
6. They will try their hardest not to engage in conflict. There is often guilt and shame in facing the people they love and hurt the most. They may even walk away for awhile to get things right.
7. They have formed new and strong friendships. These will be the people they helped and at some point will help him when things of the past sound sweeter than life without the fog. Helping others is a big part of being and staying, clean and sober. It is one of the twelve steps.
8. Life will change in many ways. Finances, living situations, conversations, and family activities may be different. It won't be the party or sloppy nights in front of the TV. They will want life to be lived and loved in new ways--although this may not be immediate.
9. Appearances will change. The face will be more recognizable as the person you once knew. Sometimes the sloppy or revealing clothes will give way to fresh and clean attire. They will learn to care for and love themselves,
10. They are sober, they are clean, and they are healing. They may seem like a child a bit lost in a new world but they will find their way.
Be patient and be kind. Try not to dwell on the past remember, “don’t look back in anger”. Look forward to an exciting new future. Even though this change may seem drastic, if the addict/alcoholic truly has their heart set on recovery, life will be infinitely better.