Talk therapy is always a good option @katie if available, so happy you shared that! It allows for someone to really help parse out each persons needs and facilitate a safe space for communicating what’s on your mind. @polly I have a similar situation with my brother, when he gets in his own head there’s nothing I can really do to get him out.
But in terms of gently directing them to focus on things outside their own world, this is certainly a tough one @Julie_Smith! Sometimes in early recovery what our loved ones really need is someone to listen. Real change happens over time, because habits take a while to form and the brain needs time to heal to be able to rationalize effectively, this helps conceptualize the fact that not one conversation will make all the difference, but rather the ongoing connection and conversations over time that can slowly shift things. That can put us in a tough position where we are trying to connect and support, but have valid feelings about the lack of interest our loved ones show in our lives. One suggestion other than therapy could be to gently ask how some of his friends are, or share how your family members are doing, “Aunt Jenny just got engaged, let’s writer her a congratulations letter together from the both of us” is an example of how you could communicate that a world exists outside of his own head. Hopefully this can create a shift, even if it’s a small one.
If you want to try this out let me know how it goes !