How do we show up and root for people in recovery?
Addiction is lonely. By some, it’s seen as an “illness of choice.” Empathy for a loved one in recovery may be difficult to find. Yet, addiction isn’t so simple. Behind addiction, other mental health issues exist. There’s overwhelming depression, debilitating anxiety.
Shawn, an addiction counselor at Foundations, talked about what it’s like to be a cheerleader for a client in recovery. He tells stories of recovery with enthusiasm for the hard work that his clients are doing. He coined the phrase “rooting for my clients” as he works for their recovery. Shawn sees a lot of clients in recovery who are struggling with underlying trauma, including negative childhood events, sex trafficking, and other abuse.
COVID has impacted the recovery community, too. Recovery support meetings were cancelled or shifted to virtual only options. A sense of community is important for people recovery, so the lack of connection has had a profound impact. The good news is that, after a year, more in-person recovery meetings are happening. Pandemic or not, an important point for our community to know is that people in recovery need community, connection, and support.
When Shawn talks confidentially about a client’s story, the story isn’t easy to hear. A client typically shows up at Shawn’s office (or, during the pandemic, on Shawn’s private Zoom connection) surrounded and consumed by pain. Pain they’ve endured and caused. They have experienced so much loss. Loss of family, friends, job, home, and other resources. There is hope, though. Any client working with Shawn or our other addiction counselors is on the cusp of a spiritual recovery.
Shawn’s compassionate cheerleading is what makes him an ideal addiction counselor. He sees people at their most vulnerable and stripped down. He uses his 30+ years of experience, gentle therapeutic nature, and love for community to help adults recover from their addictions. In Shawn’s own words,
I believe people need a safe place where they can talk about their feelings and issues. In this environment, they can work toward their goals without fear of being judged and can allow themselves to be vulnerable. I think people need to feel significant and want to be heard and understood, which counseling provides.
Shawn knows that with creating strong and positive relationships, and putting the work to recovery, anyone can have positive change, a feeling that they matter, and freedom from addiction.
If someone you love is in recovery, you can root for them, too.
- Get Educated: Addiction is complex. It’s tough for family and friends to understand what causes, and doesn’t cause, addiction. There’s power in knowledge. The right information will help friends and family understand the best way to help. Visit our resources page HERE to start learning.
- Seek Your Own Help: Supporting a loved one in recovery is tough. Being a loved one of a person in recovery may require to seek your own healing for the emotional toil that addiction has had on your own life.
- Be Present: After you learn more and find your own supportive networks, you’ll be better equipped to support your loved one through their recovery. Connection and community are essential ingredients to recovery. Your loved ones can recover and thrive with your support.
Shawn and our other addiction counselors are eager to help clients see positive changes in their lives. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please reach out to our compassionate client engagement team at 920-437-8256.