Don’t Say These Things To Someone Recovering From Addiction
Society can be quite cruel to people who do not follow the norms. Being compassionate and empathetic can’t be taught in school; it is something that needs to be inculcated at home. Even if someone is a well-wisher, they often do not know how to communicate their worries. Communication can be a challenge for most people. Saying negative things or hurting someone can happen because of miscommunication. When dealing with a person just back from rehab or going through treatment for addiction, there are a few things you must not say. If you’re the type of person who struggles to find the right words to say to people in recovery, this article is for you. Here is a list of things you must NOT say to people with addiction.
“Let’s Go For A Drink”
For obvious reasons, this is a big no. Whether your loved one was suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, asking them to go for a drink is not right. Alcohol reduces the control we have over our impulses, and that might lead to a relapse. It can also bring about depression and remorse later on which increases the chance of using drugs again. Bonding over a drink is a myth. It is time to understand that socializing doesn’t require having drinks. Bonding can happen over a cup of coffee, too!
“Your Parents Did This To You”
Whether it is a true allegation or not, don’t say hurtful and mean things to people recovering from addiction or under addiction. It will only add to their woes and make them more depressive. It has been found that certain physical, psychological, as well social conditions come together and are usually responsible for addiction. While one can’t totally rule out the roles parents play in this, they cannot be the only one to be blamed. Hence, don’t try to make the addicted person less guilty by taking the blame off them and by putting it on their parents. It might not work!
“How Long Have You Been Clean”
Even if you have the best intentions in mind, this can come out pretty bad. Relapse is common during the recovery period. So, people who are in the recovery phase might not be comfortable talking about how long they have been sober. Truth is, even if it is just one day, they should pat themselves on the back for making it. Being ashamed or guilty will only make things worse for them. Instead, try to casually ask how things are going for them. It is non-invasive and lets the person decide how much they are going to share with you, instead of going into details about their personal life.
“I Had No Idea”
Telling the person that you had no idea that they had a problem might put them in a spot. This can lead to a very uncomfortable conversation which requires a lot of courage on the addict’s part. The best way to make them feel a bit better is by telling them that you are proud of them. It is important to encourage them all the time, and this tiny statement might make them understand that what you are doing is worthwhile.
“I know How You Feel”
It might be a works-in-all condition kind of sentence that you tell people all the time in order to make them feel better. But if you are saying this to an addict, it might not work. You really cannot know how an addict is feeling unless you have been one or have taken care of one. Instead, tell them that you can’t even imagine what they have gone through, and that, now, you will support them in every way you can.
It is important to think before you talk in almost any kind of situation, especially so if you are talking with someone in recovery. If you really want to be supportive and help your loved one, try to make that clear first. Don’t make small talk just because you feel obliged to do so. It is critical that you understand that your comments might not just hurt them but put them in depression. They are also very sensitive at this stage of their lives, so be mindful about your words. Be kind and compassionate and empathize with them.
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