When someone you know or love has a problem with addiction, it can be difficult to know the best way to behave around them. You don’t want them to feel like they’re not trusted, or that you’re keeping an eye on them all the time. And you don’t want to feel the burden of being responsible for them either. Then there is the guilt every time you have a drink or do something that might tempt them.
Anyone who has been in a womens recovery center has had the professional help and support they need. They are armed with coping mechanisms to help them get back into everyday life. People who have sought professional support and seen a program through know what their triggers are and can work around them. They are rehabilitated and just want the chance to get on with normal life.
If you are providing a place to stay and friendship to a person with an addiction, then it’s important to get on with your life while they are there. Your friend probably doesn’t need or want a babysitter. But they might be keen to have a friend to talk to. It’s good to get out of the house and have some fresh air and exercise. And if you have a hobby or interest they could share, and then it provides you with something you can enjoy together.
In the workplace, it can feel very isolating and uncomfortable if colleagues whisper and keep their distance. Instead, engage your recovering colleague, and continue working normally. Ask them how their family is, or if the commute was OK. This is less formal and intrusive than asking ‘how are you’ every time you see them. Find different ways to start a conversation. Talk about a TV show, or even the weather! Make regular small talk as you would to anyone else.
It’s not necessary to hide a drink when you are enjoying a night out with your friend. After all, they are adults, and can decide for themselves. They are responsible for their own choices. It’s not up to you to hide temptation away from them. Instead, offer them soft choices, but don’t feel obliged to change your life to suit theirs.
A friendly ear and a few distractions can go a long way to helping someone just out of rehab readjust. Let them guide you rather than imposing strict rules and regulations. Offer some choices for activities. Or just let them know you’re ready and willing to do something fun together. It’s not pleasant to feel like people don’t trust you, or that they are manipulating your life and actions to suit their idea of what you need.
In short, you should just carry on as normal. It’s always nice to be a friend on call. But your friend is learning to live without depending on substances or other people to cope with life. It can be hard to know when to back away, but you can always speak to the rehab center for great advice.