There’s no reason to undermine or mock the experience of struggling with mental health. People who are in treatment for their struggles with mental health which includes becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol are facing a very serious challenge in life. One of the tricks to recovery, however, is taking it both seriously and not so seriously. Mental illness of any kind feels like a hindrance to being able to enjoy life fully. Recovery is an effort to do the opposite. Our residential treatment program at Lakehouse Recovery Center is designed to help clients discover that life is pretty fun without drugs and alcohol. Mental health can be managed in a productive away which gives us the freedom to have fun and enjoy our lives, even when we’re having a harder day.
A focus on the positive doesn’t undermine or minimize the difficult experience of living with mental health difficulties. Focusing on the positive simply creates a perspective shift. Your loved one is not defined by their mental health diagnosis. They are so much more than their depression, their anxiety, their addiction, and their other challenges. When your loved one is having a particularly tough time remembering that, these tips can help bring them back into what we call the “sunlight of the spirit” and focus on recovery, the “bright spot of our lives”.
- Ask your loved one what they feel they need in this exact moment. Sometimes there is more than meets the eye. For example, a moment of meltdown and difficulty could just be an indicator that your loved one is hungry and hasn’t eaten in too long a period of time. They might need a hug, reassurance, or a snack. It’s actually that simple sometimes.
- Offer your understanding, without putting their experience in a box. You cannot fully understand what it is like to live with mental health struggles unless you’ve had them yourself. Recent research has found that most people will experience some phase of mental illness in their life. Support your loved one by referencing your own struggles but don’t make it too much of a stretch- unless that stretch is really, really funny. Laughter is always the best medicine.
- Remind your loved one to laugh because this too shall pass. When thoughts become convincing and are flaring up they don’t feel like anything to laugh about. What’s laughable is taking the passing, fleeting experience of emotion too seriously. Our human experience overall is fascinating, but it can feel quite painful. Remembering to take a step back and laugh at the whole thing is important for your loved one to do.
We take the business of recovery seriously at Lakehouse Recovery Center, but we never take ourselves too seriously. We believe that laughter is the best medicine and that learning to have fun again without drugs and alcohol is a solution to addiction. Our residential treatment programs include integrative and non-recovery activities to help clients experience the most of life in a clinical approach to expanding health of mind, body, and spirit. For information, call us today: 877.762.3707