Addiction recovery is more than simply not using drugs or alcohol. It is also about working through past trauma and pain that put you on the path to using. It is also important to work through mental health issues, emotional trauma, and relationship concerns that put you at risk for relapse. All of this stems from good communication skills in recovery. From treatment through the years of early recovery, you will need to be able to communicate what is happening, what you are feeling, and what your needs are.
Why Are Communication Skills in Recovery So Important?
Communication is an important part of any healing process. Healthy/effective communication skill in recovery allows for the best possible outcome. There are several reasons for this.
During drug and alcohol treatment, communication is critical as it opens the door to resolving the underlying concerns you have. Those who participate fully in treatment, which means opening the door to hard conversations, are most likely to get the treatment they need. Communication in addiction recovery focuses heavily on working through challenges and building the necessary tools for recovery.
Having communication skills in recovery is also important. That is the time that comes after leaving formal treatment. What does this mean, though?
- Talk to family members about how you are feeling at all times. Be open to telling them when things are becoming difficult.
- Communicate openly to a spouse or close friend. Be sure to talk about what you are experiencing, such as feelings of guilt, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, or what you need.
- Be sure to discuss stress factors on a consistent basis. As one of the biggest reasons for people to relapse, stress needs to be dealt with properly and consistently.
Communication in addiction recovery means being able to open up about what is happening so that someone can help you work through those difficult times.
How to Practice Better Communication Skills
It is easy enough to say a person needs to communicate about what is happening. It is challenging, though, to know what to do in those tough moments. During treatment, you will learn more about communication limitations you may have personally so you can work on them.
Consider a few tips for better communication in addiction recovery:
- Think about what you say before you say it. Anger, fear, and frustration can lead to irrational conversations that end up causing pain to others. Before you say something, learn to think about what that is first. By taking time to think about what you want to say, you can properly communicate it in a way people are most likely to understand it.
- Consider the value of family therapy. Relationships through and after addiction are very hard. That’s why it is so important for you to have a way to meet with your therapist and your family to hash out difficulties in a positive and productive manner. Family therapy can help you to build better communication between each member of your family.
- Speak up when you need to say something. Don’t bottle up your thoughts and feelings because you don’t want to hurt others, or you want things to just remain “okay.” Instead, make sure to communicate what you have to say and do so in a meaningful way. You can write a note or just have a quiet conversation together.
- Practice empathy. In recovery, it can sometimes feel like everything is pointed at you and is about you. Yet, that’s not the view from other people. Learn to incorporate empathy in what you have to say and how you say it. For example, try to understand how the other person feels and why they may feel that way. It can give you a better view of what needs to happen for you to work through these challenges.
- Maintain communication with your therapy team. You’ll work on addiction recovery skills during treatment. You will need to refresh them over time. You may want to ensure you have a mentor to turn to when things get tough. Ensure you have someone to call no matter the time of day or night. Maintain your therapy sessions to stay on top of what’s happening. All of these opportunities create a way for you to communicate effectively.
Finding the Right Treatment Program Can Help You
Building addiction recovery skills is a core component of any effective addiction treatment program. If you are struggling with addiction or with getting people to understand your needs in recovery, reach out to a treatment center today. Find out what your options are in not only recovery but also in building more effective relationships through better communication.
If you are struggling with addiction right now, do not wait to seek help. Contact our admissions team at (866) 971-5531 to learn about what therapy solutions are available to help you.