How to Talk to Your Family About Recovery
It’s common for most people to believe that only the person affected by addiction needs treatment. Yet addiction can affect family and friends in several ways too. While a person struggles with addiction, relationships with family members and other loved ones can be damaged or strained. When you decide to seek treatment and begin your recovery from addiction, it’s essential to consider how to include your family.
Each person’s recovery journey is unique to them, so what works well for someone else might not be suitable for you. The key is to consider your own family connections and how they may have been affected by your actions while you were still affected by your substance use. From there, you’re able to create a plan for how to talk to your family about your recovery.
Decide Which Family Members You Can Interact With
During your early recovery, you might begin to recognize some of the damage your substance abuse issues may have caused for the people in your life. You may also want to start making amends, mainly if you’re working the 12 steps.
Before taking the step to talk to family members or loved ones, take the time to work out which people in your family might be better suited to work with you through your recovery.
You’ll find that some relatives will naturally be more supportive and want to help you through your recovery. Others may doubt your motives and feel wronged by your actions while you were in the grip of your substance abuse issues.
Know What to Speak About
Before approaching family members, take some time to think about what you’re going to say and how you will address the past issues that may have affected your relationships. You’ll find that many people don’t understand much about the nature of addiction, which can also mean they might try to offer their advice.
While any advice they offer can come from the best intentions, it may also not help your situation. After all, many people simply assume that recovering from addiction should mean gathering up some willpower and just stopping substance abuse.
They really don’t understand how insidious addiction can be and how your recovery is unique to you. Strategies and tactics that might have worked well for someone else they know might be unhelpful for your situation.
Be gracious and patient. Listen to any unsolicited advice you receive. Acknowledge that you recognize your loved ones are trying to help. Then continue working with your counselors and addiction treatment specialists in your recovery path.
A part of your comprehensive rehab treatment program includes family therapy sessions. Invite those closest to you to participate in family therapy if they’re willing.
Encourage loved ones to attend family therapy sessions. Family therapy helps educate your loved ones about the fundamental nature of addiction, the challenges you’re facing in your recovery, how vital their roles are in your recovery, and how they can provide the positive support you need.
When they understand more about the recovery process, your family members are more likely to provide more favorable support levels that reduce the risk of relapsing back into former patterns of behavior.
Stick to Your Recovery Plan
It’s normal for family members and loved ones to have plenty of questions. They may also have unresolved emotions they want to vent. Whether they’re angry, disappointed, hurt, or sympathetic, they acknowledge that they are entitled to their feelings. After all, those feelings came about due to your actions while you were still abusing drugs or alcohol.
Throughout your recovery, your primary responsibility is to find ways to stick to your recovery plan. Finding positive ways to discuss your recovery needs with family can be challenging, but it’s an important step to open doors to begin healing and mending family relationships. Reach out to the medical experts at WhiteSands for more addiction treatment and solutions, or visit any of our Florida facilities.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.