Rehab can be the best thing that has ever happened to someone trying to get sober. And for many brave men and women, it is the starting point for their sobriety.
Others come home and are back to their old ways within days. But there seems to be a growing trend happening that I want to talk about.
Many women in the Love Over Addiction program are telling me that the ones they love are coming home and choosing to get drunk the very day they come home from rehab. Sometimes, they even stop at the airport bar after the flight they took when they checked out of rehab.
I know this might be discouraging to read. I work really hard at trying to keep this from being one more place on the internet for venting, complaining, and defeat. Instead, I intend to create a safe and loving community full of women who can celebrate their victories and who are open to learning how to take back their control over this disease.
We are not victims. We are smart, loving women who are good wives and mothers. We have many gifts to offer this world, and the purpose of our lives is not to make the ones we love sober.
So when your partner comes back from rehab, I want you to check your expectations. Sure, they’ve done a wonderful job in a controlled environment where every day they are surrounded by other people whose intention is not to get drunk, use drugs, or look at pornography. They also have the assistance of some amazing counselors who have most likely found their own long-term sobriety.
The reality is that it’s scary for alcoholics and addicts to go back into the real world.
There are triggers all around them. They may not trust themselves. They may find temptations all around them.
Our world advertises social drinking everywhere. Unless you want nothing more in the world than to get sober, you won’t. And no rehab – no matter how good – can make you have that desire.
That’s the truth. And you know it because you’re a smart woman.
The very best thing you can do when they get home from rehab is to make sure you’ve done your own program. While they’re working hard at trying to figure out their issues, you need to get started on your own.
The last thing they need (or deserve) when they get home is for you to nag, yell, worry, or police him. I know that’s hard. Trust me – I don’t say this with judgment. I did every one of those things I just mentioned.
I understand that it’s difficult to trust them. And that will take lots and lots of time. It could even take years (and I’ll write about that more in a few weeks).
But for now, your only job is to get busy working on yourself by starting one of our programs.
You have been through just as much (if not more) as they have. You have bags to unpack and feelings to work through. You have tools you need to learn and confidence you need to gain. You need boundaries and self-care. You need a program.
If you haven’t joined us yet, now’s the time. It’s not just about making your healing a priority. It’s about giving your future the best chance of real change. Finding your happiness again. Discover the real you and how wonderfully made you are.