Your loved one is in rehab and has invited you to visit. Eagerness, anxiety and curiosity are all rolled into one right now. Will he or she behave differently? What will you talk about? How are you supposed to act? The following tips can help you navigate the first visit.
Your loved one is sober. Because of that, he or she may not behave the way you were accustomed to in the past. There might be some shyness, awkward silences and even some tears while the two of you begin this new journey. It's to be expected and that’s okay.
Just Listen. Your loved one has things that need to be said. Whether it is an apology, some expressions of anger or ideas about the future, it is time for you to listen. Obviously, decisions made in haste are not a good idea. But learning to express emotions is an important part of recovery and knowing that you heard what was said helps him or her continue the process.
Don't sugarcoat. Without nagging, bashing, or losing control, it's okay to express your feelings too. Until now, you have been on a roller coaster of chaos. Clearing the air sets the stage for future visits. Try writing down what you want to express before the visit. This will help you to stay on track instead running the risk of a long, rambling, bash session, which won't help either of you resolve your issues.
Ask questions. Find out if your loved one needs anything. Ask what you can do to help his or her recovery once rehab has been completed. You don't have to do everything that’s suggested, but knowing what he or she feels will help make it easier. This is important.