In recovery from addiction, family members often push a person with a substance use disorder to get clean. They’re often buoyed by the excitement when their loved one enters a treatment center to have a fresh start. However, treatment is where recovery begins, not ends. Even when a family supports a person in recovery, there may be triggers or behavior patterns that are best left in the past. But treatment is usually only offered for the addicted person, leaving family or friends struggling with your “new normal.” This can leave a lot of mess to clean up or patterns to change. If your family feels stuck, you may feel like all of the changes you make aren’t working. Recovery doesn’t “fix” everyone and everything for you or your relationships, and this is normal. But how do you find help for your family? It’s too much pressure for you, yourself, to lead the path towards healing.
Addiction Causes Behavior Changes
Even when you have support supports you, there are probably some things in your family dynamics that can make you feel like your sobriety is at risk. Loved ones, after all, know how to push our buttons even when they’re not trying. Relationships are indeed a common trigger for people new in recovery.
Some relatives may be co-dependent and may have enabled you when you were using. Once you’re clean, they may have trouble moving forward, or you may feel they even try to micro-manage your life. While this is normal, it can cause you to also relapse into behaviors that are unhealthy and may even trigger you to use. That’s the worst-case scenario, but in early recovery, your feelings may be paper-thin. Falling back into painful situations can be frightening and stunt your growth.
Your loved ones need to heal, just like you do. But their journey isn’t your journey – they may need a support system to help them transition to this new stage of life. It is especially important that they are educated to understand the disease of addiction. A treatment program can help them with this – there is often family therapy available.
Family support can be an important part of your recovery, but it’s not the only way. If you come from a family where there has been abuse or unhealthy behavior patterns, it’s not your job to help them get well. If your family for some reason doesn’t want to participate in your recovery, you can’t force them to, either. Your treatment support system can help you make decisions on who you invite to get help.
How Your Family Can Get Help
Your treatment center can offer you and your family therapy sessions and recommend support groups such as Al-Anon or Codependents Anonymous if your family needs support. If your addiction hurts your family, then there’s an opportunity for recovery to help them heal.
You can also recommend books or online support groups to your loved ones if they don’t feel comfortable with therapy. Understanding your addiction, as well as the recovery journey, will help! Ask your friends in recovery or an addiction professional what groups and books they recommend.
Are you ready to start your life in recovery? A treatment center in a therapeutic environment with your peers can help you learn to heal and recover. Please give us a call at 877-248-2401 to learn more about your options.