By Erendira Zazueta, Coalition Coordinator
We are in the middle of January and for some people it’s the middle of Dry January, so this time could be the most difficult because they have gotten so far yet they can be so tempted to just give up since they haven’t reached the end. Most people participating may find it helpful to have someone to support them during a hard time like this goal. Support is the greatest help for anyone dealing with any trouble in life. When we’re going through something, it can feel comforting to know we’re not alone and someone is right there with us helping us get through it. Trying to stop drinking alcohol may be one of the hardest things to do because alcohol is very sociably accepted and available almost everywhere, in stores, homes, restaurants, parties, etc. That is why having a person supporting you during your sober journey is so important.
If you are going to be a sober support for someone, be sure to create a plan from the start. Make an agreement for how available you will be for them and when they can request your assistance because it’s important to be available for them but you also have to take care of yourself as well. Be patient with them, sometimes it’s frustrating to see someone we care about not be successful in their goals but remember recovery is not linear and there can be some relapses. If they do happen to relapse don’t judge them about it or try to tell them they’re not doing well, they are most likely aware of it.
Educate yourself about addiction and the substance they’re using. By understanding addiction, it can help you have more empathy, a good resource is the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Do your own research to understand that quitting an addiction isn’t easy and it takes a lot of work to be able to do it. There are others things that affect how susceptible someone is to becoming addicted to a substance. People’s genes, ethnicity, culture, even gender affects whether people are more likely to become addicted. Even somebody’s environment can cause them to be more likely to be addicted. That’s why it’s important to do your own research to better understand the hard time people trying to get sober are going through.
Also don’t take things personal if the person you’re supporting happens to relapse, it isn’t your fault. Keeping that in mind don’t try to use your love against them either. Don’t try to say “if you loved me you wouldn’t be doing this.” A person trying to get sober already knows how their actions affect the people they love so they don’t need a reminder of that. That’s why it is important to have a plan on how you’re going to support someone and what are the backup plans if that person does end up relapsing.
Being the support for someone who’s going through recovery is a big responsibility so be sure to do your research and have a plan for what to do if they do relapse. It can be overwhelming but we can all be capable of being a sober support for someone.
Thank you for checking out this week’s blog, be sure to tune in next week! 😊
1. Health Partners (2023). 7 Tips For Supporting Loved Ones Who Are Recovering From Addiction. https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/how-to-support-someone-through-substance-use-recovery/
2. National Institute On Drug Abuse (2018). Understanding Drug Use and Addiction DrugFacts. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction
1. CBS Austin (2018). Are the people in your life really supportive. https://cbsaustin.com/sponsored/spotlight/are-the-people-in-your-life-really-supportive
2. Alpha Kappa Psi (2019). Where and How Research is Conducted. https://akpsi.org/where-and-how-research-is-conducted/
The Sober Curious Dietitians (2021). Mocktail Party: 75 Plant-Based, Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Every Occasion. https://thesoberdietitians.com/mocktail-party-non-alcoholic-recipes/