Are you in the process of receiving treatment for your substance use disorder and suddenly running into problems with your family? Daily stressors and arguments with loved ones can cause you to feel triggered to use again. However, you must resist the temptation to use drugs or drink away your family problems. Instead, it’s best to deal with disagreements in a healthy and productive manner, and understand that recovery for both yourself and your family will take time. This article will explain six tips on how to overcome family strife during and after receiving addiction recovery services.
1. Recognize That Change Takes Time and Addiction is a Disease.
It’s important to understand and acknowledge that recovery takes time, and there may be bumps in the road, especially when it concerns your family. After all, they’ve been with you throughout your addiction, and while they may be supportive, they may not fully understand that receiving treatment and healing is a slow process. In fact, addiction is considered a chronic disease, much like diabetes and high blood pressure. You’ll first have to get your addiction and cravings under control. Then, you’ll have to manage your illness. It’s important to explain these things to your immediate family members and provide them with information regarding the recovery process, so that they can support you at every stage of your recovery and start the healing process themselves.
2. Apologize for Past Behavior
As you heal, you may feel remorse and guilt for your past behaviors while you were high or drunk. You may have done things that you wouldn’t do normally, and some of those things may have negatively impacted your family members. As you heal and come to terms with your past behavior, remember to apologize for that behavior. Explain to your family that you are upset by your past behavior and are actively working to not repeat that behavior. Remember to listen to how your family members feel about those past events and acknowledge their pain.
3. Utilize Family Therapy
In order to get everything out in the open and further heal past traumas, it can be beneficial to schedule some family therapy. Some recovery centers offer family therapy as part of their programs, but you can also find a therapist on your own that specializes in providing family therapy to those who have been affected by a loved one’s substance use disorder.
4. Keep Your Family in the Loop During and After Your Recovery
Remember to keep your family in the loop when it comes to your recovery and your treatment program progress. You can share updates with them and how you’re feeling as well as which stage you are in. This can be very helpful as you detox and move through your recovery program so that your family members understand what to expect. This also helps further affirm that recovery is a process, and they should address issues with you directly rather than burying them under the guise that everything is fine. Through communication and knowledge, you and your family members can work through problems together.
5. Help Your Family Heal
Your family may have a lot of the same emotions as you about your substance use. They may be frustrated and upset about your past drug abuse and fearful that you aren’t going to stick with your program. They may be angry and feel neglected, especially if you spent lots of money on your addiction that left your family financially burdened or missed major life milestones, like your children’s first day at school and family events. It’s important to work through these past hurts with your family rather than arguing. If discussing these issues at home fails to yield the desired results, you may want to encourage your family members to seek therapy individually and in group settings. By being able to talk about their past hurts in both private and semi-public settings, they will start to work through their pain and come to terms with your substance abuse and journey to healing and sobriety.
6. Help Your Family Understand and Accept that Things Have Changed
Your family may have a difficult time believing that you’ve really changed and that you are taking your recovery seriously. This may be due to the promises of sobriety and change that you made while you were in the grip of your substance use disorder. As you move through your program, get sober and heal, it’s important to show your family that things have changed. You can do this by spending more time with your family sober and telling them about your accomplishments in your recovery program. As time goes on, your family will begin to accept that you are committed to making positive changes in your life, and you really do want to lead a sober, productive life with your family.
Just remember addiction recovery is a process, and you and your loved ones will need to make that journey together in order for all of you to heal and move forward with your lives. To get help recovering from addiction and learn how to manage life’s daily stressors without drugs or alcohol, contact one of our knowledgeable, compassionate and helpful staff members today by dialing 833.970.2054.