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Treatment is over, my loved one seems so unfamiliar....Why?

Thoughts from John Perry, Owner, Clean & Sober Recovery Services

When your loved one returns to the family after treatment, things will be different on a lot of fronts. For one, their authentic “personality” (for lack of a better word) may be visible for the first time in a long time. Even though I’m personally in long-term recovery, it’s still part of my nature to be restless, irritable and discontent. And, generally, that tends to be the personality of the substance abuser who uses drugs or alcohol to stimulate, relax or distract. That’s a big part of the reason why drugs or alcohol can so easily sink their teeth into us: They make us feel normal. So when we get sober, our dis-ease is laid bare. That’s why we must take steps to manage those uncomfortable parts of ourselves. That’s where AA and NA meetings, support from a sponsor, counseling, sober living or other recovery resources come into play.

When we stop-self-medicating, our true selves shine through. That “self” may be unfamiliar to the family, and the newly-sober loved one may be uncomfortable and unpredictable to be around. We may appear “off” when we are our sober, non-medicated selves.

But just be patient as “the person you used to know” returns to you and works to build a solid recovery. If your loved one is not emotionally-connected in early recovery, that’s OK as long as they are working towards recovery. If you are confident that they are sober, then sit tight. On the other hand, if they are disconnected because they haven’t stayed sober, that’s a whole other story that calls for the family to take other action.

If you seek treatment for addiction or alcoholism, Clean & Sober Recovery Services puts recovery within reach. Call us at (916) 990-0190 to learn how we can help.

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