Family time promotes the integration of recovery and a newly sober loved one. Creating a strong foundation in the family home helps a loved one create a strong foundation in their personal life and their new life of recovery. Too often, loved ones who have become chemically dependent on drugs and alcohol are chastised and excommunicated from their families. Spending quality time with the family in a healthy and supportive way renews one’s sense of empowerment and belonging which are necessary for long-term abstinent recovery.
Meal time is a wonderful opportunity to bring the family together over a shared experience and have healthy dialogues, tell stories, and share support. As the family, meal time can bring healthy choices into the whole family system.
Choose New Recipes Together
Sharing the family experience of meal time means distributing responsibilities among each family member. Part of recovery for a loved one includes their adaptation to independence by developing the skills they need to take care of themselves. Encouraging their capabilities with love and compassion is helpful for their continual growth. Together, buy a cookbook, purchase strange ingredients, or pick out a recipe you’ve been interested in trying. By finding successes and making mistakes, you enforce important lessons your loved one learned in treatment about humility, gratitude, and enjoying the many changes life can bring.
Research The History Of A Dish
Scotland and Europe are rich with traditions and culture, best demonstrated through a wide variety of food. Learn about the family traditions, inherited cultures, or information on the region for the dish you are preparing. The recovering brain is stimulated by learning and creating new memory associations. In treatment, your loved one was regularly exposed to psycho-educational therapy for learning and skill development. Mealtime is an opportunity to use that discipline in a fun, and delicious, way.
Make Clean Up A Fun Chore
Learning to take responsibility and have accountability for responsibilities is a critical part of long-term abstinent recovery. Cleaning up after a meal is a great time to emphasize that life’s responsibilities don’t have to be run from but can instead be enjoyed. This reinforces the positive lifestyle change which recovery brings.
Keep A Watchful Eye For Disordered Behaviors
Most importantly, meal time can provide a chance to mindfully notice any unusual behaviors, indications of weakening mental health, or signs of disordered eating. Eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors can develop along the recovery journey as a way to cope without drugs and alcohol.
Castle Craig is a proven landmark of quality treatment in Scotland. Like our logo, the butterfly, our patients grow and transform, learning to adapt to life without mind altering drugs. Please call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 3732 for information on our highly regarded treatment programmes. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006 (normal charges apply).
Page published: June 16, 2017. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 28, 2020