How Do I Deal with The News of a Loved One’s Medical Diagnosis in Recovery?

There may come a time when a loved one comes down with a severe medical ailment that makes you spin out of control with fear. You may start pondering how you will live without your loved one. How can you accept them with all the changes that will come about? Will they still know you? What can you do to assist them?

Yes, a million questions can be asked when a diagnosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s, or other chronic illness is made, which can affect the functionality of the mind and body. The thought of a loved one dying to a medical condition is unfathomable, but so is having to see them live in misery. The best thing you can do for your loved one is to support them by working through your fears sober. You can be present for them during this time of change rather than numb out your emotions with drugs and alcohol.

Understand the Diagnosis

Until you know exactly what is being treated, try not to jump the gun on what you think their condition is. Wait for the medical doctor to reveal what they are suffering from without allowing yourself to become an internet medical professional. Avoid googling symptoms, treatments, and conditions until you know what you are dealing with. You can stop yourself from receiving inaccurate information to keep from unnecessarily overreacting.

Use Your Tools

Once you hear bad news, you may automatically think that drinking or using drugs would be a good idea. Rather than make matters worse than they already are, use something more productive to help you cope. Allow therapy to infiltrate your feelings. Use 12-Step work to work out your self-centeredness and fears. Choose a physical activity that will give you an outlet for your stress and tension. Meditate to keep you in the present moment. You have an arsenal of recovery tools at your fingertips, but it is up to you to put them into action.

Be of Service

One of the best ways to stop thinking negatively about everything you are dealing with is service to others. Although your loved one may already be receiving the care they need, others would benefit from you being of service to them. Call a recovery friend and ask how their day is going. Go volunteer for a community project. Pay it forward in a drive-thru line and make someone else’s day without expecting anything in return.

The point is to be the best version of yourself so that your loved one can feel your positive energy. Chances are they are afraid of the unknown too, and you can be a blessing to them through your recovery.

Valiant Living is here to support your continued recovery as life moves forward in sobriety. If you, or someone you know, needs assistance with drug and alcohol addiction, we are here to help with recovery. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463