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How Do We Best Support My Mother Now That She's Going into Rehab?

by Kim

My mother is going into a treatment clinic for her alcoholism. I’m absolutely overjoyed that she’s finally recognized that she needs help and is prepared to get treatment. It’s been a long and painful process to get to this point, and I pray to God now that this will lead her to a life of sobriety and some sort of peace and happiness.

Me and the rest of my family are so pleased this is happening, and so want to support her in the best way possible. But how do we do this properly? Do we openly encourage her and tell her how proud we are of her and that we know she’ll make it etc.? Or do we act more kind of subdued and just be there for her when she asks or needs us? I just want to do this right and make sure we’re there for her in the best way possible.



Hi Kim

Good question. I’m glad that your family is so supportive of your mother and want the best possible outcome for her. One thing you need to remember though, alcoholism is your mother’s disease, and the only person that can beat it is your mother, no matter what you as family do. It’s easy as a family member to feel responsible in some way for your mother’s recovery, but she’s the only one that can make it happen, so it’s important you give her the necessary space to do what she needs to find her path to sobriety.

Having said that though, of course having a supportive family helps tremendously. So you might want to begin by asking her how you as a family can be there for her. Each person responds differently. One person might like constant encouragement and positivity, while another might find it irritating and condescending. Others might like a more ‘normal’, low key approach – while to some that might mean you don’t really care. So the best thing to do is ask, and I’m sure she’ll tell you.

But the biggest thing you as a family can do is to equip yourself with knowledge and understanding of your mother’s alcoholism via going to Al Anon meetings, which is for family members and friends of alcoholics. Alcoholism has a deep impact on the family at large, and so meeting with other family members who are going through what you are will help tremendously in not only understanding better what your mother is going through and how to deal with her – but since alcoholism affects the whole family, you as a family can also begin your healing process.

Unless you’ve personally experienced an addiction like alcoholism, it’s very difficult to really understand and relate to what an alcoholic is going through. Al Anon meetings will help you with that, and so you’ll discover how to be there for your mom in the best way possible, which I’m sure she’ll appreciate.

Good Luck and God Bless.

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Aug 14, 2009
Thank you
by: Kim

I will definitely speak to the rest of the family about going to Al Anon because it does seem like a good idea. I know mom still has a long way to go, but this is all very much a step in the right direction. I'm certainly going to try and do what you suggest, and only hope that everything works out. God Bless you, I think what you're doing here is wonderful.

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