Posted in Addiction, Forgiveness, healing, Jesus, Purpose, Uncategorized

What Can You Say to the Newly Recovered Former Substance Abuser?

Words hold power – to do either good or evil.  When you deliver bad words, life takes a turn for the worse.  When you speak good words, beautiful life changing events happen.  The recovered former substance abuser is extra sensitive during their first year, when the brain is re-setting itself to normal. When you love that person, you need to provide encouragement, forgiveness and a source of hope for them.  No, you’re not responsible for winning or losing in their recovery; however, you ARE responsible for respecting their humanity and showing them that you forgive them.  They need to feel your unconditional love, without placating them or giving them false hopes.  It’s a balance of things that need to work together to help them in a therapeutic and humane way.  We teach that at Victory Retreat Montana online.

The people the recovered former substance abuser comes home to are an integral part in that person’s completed recovery. Through your words to them, along with their observation of your lifestyle that back those words, they learn trust, love, compassion, balance, life skills and hope.  You need to know what ingredients to add that will make the recovery meal super delicious.  In a way it’s like a child learning what they live.  The vulnerable newly recovered former substance abuser is also like a child who need to re-learn life, just as a child does.

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For you newly recovered love one, NEVER…

  • Never call them an ‘addict’; that was then and not now; they are humans like anyone else
  • Never become hostile; hostility breeds rage and resentment
  • Never speak to them in the negative, such as saying things like, ‘don’t’, ‘you’re not’, ‘never’, ‘I prohibit you from’, ‘you can’t’, etc.  All of those negative words cause behaviors that are opposite to what you are demanding.  When you tell someone, ‘don’t, they ‘do’.
  • Never speak words that will dredge up their past. The past is over and done.  No one should ever be defined by their past.
  • Never correct in a negative manner.
  • Never use words of condemnation.
  • Never react in anger.
  • Never cause them to feel invisible; that’s abusive.

For your newly recovered loved one, ALWAYS…

  • Always speak truth in words and in deeds… and follow through with your promises.
  • Always pray for and with your loved one at least once daily and each time a crisis comes up.
  • Always be a source of encouragement. There is always something to respond with encouragement about.
  • Always be there to listen – without judgement.
  • Show unconditional love always.
  • Find something to compliment about your loved one.
  • Deliver words that bring change.
  • Offer words, on a daily basis (or more), that tells them how much they matter.
  • Ask them if they would like to talk about their plans and encourage them.
  • Tell them, in word and in deed, that you are proud of them.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Proverbs 18:21

 

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Author:

Co-Founder, VP and Executive Director of Teshuvah Road Ministries Inc.

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