Family plays a pivotal role in each person’s life. Those working to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol can be greatly influenced by their families throughout the process. While each individual’s relationship with their family members will be unique, there are still many ways to utilize this resource for one’s benefit. Doing so can re-establish relationships that may have been tried as a result of one’s use of an addictive substance.
However, the ways in which families can be most effective lies in transparent, clear avenues of support. A great deal of education surrounding the topic of addiction is needed for all involved to garner the best, most sympathetic, and unified support possible.
Letting Go Of Blame
Blame can ravage relationships and act as one of the single largest hurdles to overcome throughout addiction recovery. Part of this is because it can manifest in a couple of different ways. For those working to overcome their addiction, they may blame family members for unnecessary stress. Previous acts that seemed unfair may have increased their anxieties or otherwise complicated their personal affairs. Family members may also harbor blame when it comes to the use of addictive substances. Blaming other family members and even those who suffer from the addiction for their own circumstances can occur.
Regardless of which direction blame is being pointed, it never results in a unified approach to anything, Instead, it takes on an antagonistic language and tone. Rebuilding a supportive familial unit requires each individual to relinquish the idea of blame towards all other members of the family. Focusing on the present and future going forward can help to address their current situation, hurdles, and recovery plan.
The use of family programs can help with this process. There is nothing easy about letting go of such a raw, intense emotion. Blame is something that can build and compound over time, embedding itself into the heart of one’s perception of other people. Challenging these notions to move from the past and into the present is essential. This process can benefit greatly from guided family therapy sessions in a safe space.
Education Is Key
There are a lot of thoughts that can come to mind when words like “addiction” are brought up. The idea that addiction is somehow the result of being immoral or making poor decisions at one’s own behest is unfortunately still a common interpretation. However, working as a family to understand that addiction is a disease that has core physical and emotional components can open the doors to new levels of understanding.
Not only can this help to recontextualize the disease, but it can also better educate family members on symptoms to look out for in their loved ones throughout their sober journey. It can also promote effective communication and support techniques that can be employed at each stage through recovery – from detox and residential care to sober living and outpatient programs.
Family Members With Unique Roles
Healing as a family does not necessarily mean that each individual has to provide support in the same way. Different relationships can exist with varying family members. It is essential to embrace these unique relationships when creating recovery plans that involve the family. Each family member finding their unique method to support those in recovery can provide a breadth of different coping strategies. These options can prove to be incredibly beneficial throughout each stage of recovery.
Some family members may excel at more direct, emotionally supportive roles by providing a trusted shoulder and set of ears. Other members of the family may find more success by providing a relationship that is more focused on detachment and relaxation by working to play games and have fun in a safe way.
Yet another family member may help by cooking healthy meals or even teaching their loved one how to cook or how to do a variety of other life skills. All of these strategies are essential in recovery, and each family member finding their specific role can be instrumental to holistic success.
Keeping Clear Communication
The roles of each family member and their unique relationships need to be supplemented with clear and effective communication techniques. Even with the best of intentions, communication can break down or an individual may be unclear on the intentions behind certain supportive actions or restrictions. In situations such as these, distrust and blame can quickly seep back into the familial dynamic.
Having dedicated spaces where each family member can speak candidly and without blame can open new avenues of dialogue. These may be necessary to further explore the ways that families have been affected by addiction, as well as how they can continue to support and engage with the healing process.
Involving the family in the recovery process can be an incredible resource if harnessed correctly. At Chateau Recovery, we understand the powerful role they can play throughout each stage of the recovery process and champion our family programs as a result. We work to educate and empower families to address addiction recovery as a unified front. We provide a space to address the more difficult and emotional side of addiction recovery while working to discover how each family member can heal and support each other in their own way. Addiction is not something that happens in isolation. The safe space and professional guidance in navigating the dynamic family atmosphere can be essential in learning to take the first step forward together. For more information on how we can help the entire family heal, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation and the other options available to you, call us today at (435) 222-5225.