Women in recovery have different needs than men. Their emotionally intimate connection to friends and loved ones is important. From addiction to freedom in recovery, they often lose many connections to loved ones. Painful emotions can be tied to addiction and mental health issues, which complicates matters. This connection makes it even more complex to sort out issues of trust and respect required to build healthier relationships that last. Treatment for addiction will require introspective thinking and processing to better understand how to create relationships that will withstand sobriety.
Healthy Coping Strategies
Emotion-focused coping skills are those that help a woman tolerate stress or difficulty in relationships. Identifying an emotion rather than acting out can help guide women away from getting in their heads and staying focused on the challenges they face. After a bad day at work, it might help to do something fun with the kids, partner, or be alone to decompress. Finding calm activities to alleviate stress is key to peace and harmony within oneself and among relationships.
Exercise is not just a mood booster, it is also a way to socialize in a healthy, positive way. It treats stress, builds strength, and increases endurance. It helps to work out in a way that supports overall health, whether it is with loved ones or alone. Some examples are yoga, pilates, meditation walking, hiking, biking, running, or myriad other ways to get fit while building positive relationship skills.
With so many options, there is something for everyone to try. Drawing and creative writing are forms of expression a person can do alone. Get a few supplies and try it. Pop in a DVD of Bob Ross and go along for the fun of it. De-stressing and trying something fun, with or without friends, can build creativity. Moreover, this practice can reinforce valuable de-stressing tools for coping with relationships as a self-care strategy.
It may be hard to be on time if a person is used to being late. Try something new in this season of recovery to build healthier relationships. If not being on time for events or work is causing stress in personal relationships, it may be time to try something different. Get in the habit of setting alarms or asking for help when necessary.
Set some healthy boundaries with loved ones. Let them know sobriety and recovery are essential to you and show it by setting boundaries. Don’t give in to attending parties with alcohol or substances and ask others not to invite you to such events. Watch out for unhealthy coping strategies, like changes in sleep schedule, changes in your diet, and giving into boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. Healthy relationships honor boundaries and do not cross lines. If people continue to do so, it may be time to have a conversation with them about how to help the relationship move forward healthily. Healthy boundaries are a big part of moving forward into better relationships.
Past Trauma and Abuse
Women who are in recovery from addiction need to address many issues. This includes emotional challenges with low self-esteem, shame, and sexuality. Destructive and unhealthy relationships are usually part of a person’s history, especially women, with addiction. Learning how to be alone in a healthy way and find more fulfilling relationships is going to be better than continuing a pattern of harmful or painful relationships. Medication and therapy may be useful tools for healing as well, along with alternative and holistic practices like meditation and prayer. It means getting serious about seeking mental health and physical health support for past issues to heal.
Find Other Healthy Women
Recovery is a time to focus on oneself. This means being honest about what the future in recovery holds. You may need to let go of toxic relationships to build new, healthier relationships. It might mean learning to enjoy the company of other sober women for awhile. Hanging around with people who are still using can cause tension and stress while making continued sobriety more difficult. Find women who will hold you accountable to your goals and not let you off the hook.
Unhealthy relationships are part of everyone’s life at some point. The key is to notice them, develop positive coping skills, and practice forgiveness. Healing comes from letting go and recognizing it takes time. Recovery is a life long journey, and nobody is perfect. Be gentle and kind on the journey while also recognizing the power of healthy relationships. The ability to change starts with oneself and begins to flow out of that new feeling into other areas of life.
Casa Capri is designed for women who are struggling with addiction to find hope and a purpose. We provide a holistic treatment model that helps women be vulnerable in a small, intimate community with other women looking to heal. Our therapists are trained to support trauma-informed care , and nutrition is a crucial part of our recovery model. If you are looking for community and connection in rehab, call Casa Capri today: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon, Founder & CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, obtained her BA in Psychology and is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LAADC) specializing in women’s core issues. She is recognized as a leader in the field of mental health and substance abuse recovery where she has been an advocate since 2006.