Relying on our families is one sure way to get through recovery. Families do not just include those biologically related to us but also those we have claimed as kin throughout our lives. Experience in recovery has taught many professionals and individuals the importance of family in overcoming struggles. The struggle of addictive behaviors is no different; we need our families and friends to support us in this trying time.
For many, our beginning stages of recovery happen with an intervention planned by our families. While a family-based intervention does not occur for all in recovery, the importance of family in our recovery process cannot be overstated. We need people in our lives for support.
Our Families Go Beyond Genetics
Family includes any who are brotherly or sisterly and provides support. We are not limited by those who are immediately related to us. Our understanding of familial love and support extends to friends, clergy, and our Higher Power. There is nothing stronger in this world than love, and the love of those closest to us will enable us to succeed in recovery.
Examining Help Versus Hindrance in Those Closest to Us
While many in our families are willing to support us, there are some who will detract from our recovery. Changing “people, places, and things” is critical in recovery, especially when we are triggered to continue using alcohol or other substances. Triggers can even come from those whom we have considered supportive for much of our lives.
We need to recognize that some of our friends and kin are not supportive of our recovery. Accepting this fact helps us identify people who are active supports to our recovery. When we consider our support system, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Below are just three questions we may need to consider. You can also develop your own questions and criteria for those whom you want to be active members in your recovery process.
#1. Does This Person Want Me to Recover?
Some friends in our lives are addicted to dysfunction. They thrive on your dysfunction, as well. When you are faced with persons who do not want you to recover, you must set boundaries and decide what is more important: the friend’s approval or your recovery.
Just as there are people who do not want you to recover, there are persons in your life who are yearning for your recovery. These people – your family members – want to see you succeed and live your best life.
#2. Does This Person Encourage My Use of Addictive Substances? Have They in the Past?
The idea of changing “people, places, and things” cannot be stressed enough. There are people in our lives who have encouraged our use of alcohol or other substances. Whether they encouraged these behaviors in a poor attempt to help us, this type of “support” is not helpful. If these people do not encourage abstinence from alcohol or other substances, they will not help your recovery.
#3. Does This Person Believe I Can Recover From My Abuse of Alcohol or Other Substances?
Doubt endangers our recovery. We struggle enough with our own doubts, and the mind games addiction to alcohol or other substances make us experience. We do not need doubt and recriminations from others. There are always people in our lives who will doubt our ability to do anything from minor achievements to the most outstanding achievement of recovery. We require support in our lives, not people belittling our abilities. You have the power to recover from addictive behaviors. Surrounding yourself with a family who believes in you is imperative to your success.
How Do You Ask For Help?
The beginning of recovery always begins with your admission of a problem with alcohol or other substances. Many of us have families with knowledge of our issues, despite a lack of communication. Your admission opens the doorway of communication and begins the process of healing, not only for yourself but also for your friends and family.
Asking for help requires honesty and four hard-to-say words: “I have a problem.” Asking for help is a part of this conversation. Recovery does not occur with one person but requires a family of support for various issues.
Going to 12-Step meetings may be another way to open doorways to start communicating and practice sharing with your family. These meetings will also help you build a recovery family. The beauty of 12-Step meetings is the knowledge of community and proof of not being alone. You deserve support, and if you cannot find it in your immediate surroundings, you can find support at a meeting.
Asking for help, whether from family or those found at a meeting, makes the difference between a successful beginning of recovery versus a possible relapse. You can recover. You deserve help; just ask.
Asking for help is one of the most challenging parts of beginning recovery. Recovery requires recognizing those who can support you as well as those who will block your recovery. At Renaissance Ranch, we recognize the importance of having quality support in your life. As part of our treatment, we offer family support therapy, as well as regular support from clergy and staff members who desire your success in recovery. We believe you deserve a better life and are here to help you achieve that life. We recognize the power that comes from the help of your family and friends. At Renaissance Ranch, we offer support for every step of the recovery process, including detoxification all the way to a sober living home. We can involve your family in every step. Call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 and learn how we can help you and your family begin to heal from the struggle of addiction.