Visitation day has arrived, and you’re finally going to see your loved one at rehab. How do you feel? Are you excited or nervous? Do you wonder if this is even the best choice? It’s natural to have a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to visiting your loved one at rehab, but outside support provides invaluable comfort to someone in recovery.
If you’re preparing to go see someone at rehab, here are four tips to help your visitation as enjoyable and beneficial as possible.
1. Deal With Your Emotions Before You Go
A lot of feelings can come rushing to the surface when you see your loved one in rehab for the first time. You may feel pain or even anger and sadness over how long it took for them to get help or things that happened in the past.
Set aside time to reflect on your emotions before you go to the rehab. Your visitation isn’t a time to fight or bring up the past. Instead, you should use your time to offer some reassurance and affirmations. This is an opportunity for you to move forward and begin to recover as well.
2. Be Positive
People in rehab experience a wide range of emotions, and a familiar face can bring immense comfort during a turbulent time. Don’t bring any outside drama or use this time to rant about family, relationships or other issues. As they adjust to life sober, they’ll need someone who is able to be hopeful and uplifting in a genuine manner. You don’t have to fake a smile or dole out cheesy phrases; just focus on all the good rehab is doing for them and how happy you are to see them getting the help they deserve.
3. Don’t Plan the Future
A big part of addiction recovery is learning how to take things one day at at time. Even if you have some big plans once they’re out of rehab, try to save them for later. It’s okay to be excited for their recovery, but talking too much about your hopes for the future can create a sense of pressure and expectation that overwhelms them.
4. Be Available
Offer words of encouragement and visit as often as possible. Show your loved one how much you support them. If family therapy is an option, offer to attend counseling sessions with them and help assist in their journey.
You may want to consider seeking outside counseling as well; addiction has an impact on everyone, and your mental health matters, too. Be sure to prioritize your well-being so you can be as helpful and supportive for your loved one in rehab and beyond.