Recovery is a period of intense change and growth that affects both those undergoing this journey and the people surrounding them. The other people in their lives impacted by recovery can include friends, coworkers, and most importantly — family and significant others.
It can be difficult to explain the process of recovery and what it entails to those unfamiliar with addiction, recovery, mental health, or substance use disorder (SUD). Communicating clearly and effectively to loved ones is crucial for those in recovery, especially those who are just beginning the process. Knowing how to go about having these conversations can be difficult if one is uncertain about where they should begin. Fortunately, having some guidance can make cogently discussing recovery far easier and more accessible. Here are some ways to guide dinner table conversations with family regarding the process of recovery.
Let Go Of Your Expectations
Though you may hope that discussions about recovery will go smoothly, it is important to let go of expectations before broaching the topic. Everyone processes information differently, and some may not be as open to these discussions as others. It is important to be open to the reactions of your family members and significant others, no matter what they are. Knowing that you are not at fault for communicating about recovery can be a reassuring notion when going into these dinner conversations. Allowing others to react however they feel is vital to establishing a safe and open line of communication. Rather than becoming upset when things do not go as planned, allow your family to share their own feelings about the process.
Once you do this, you will be in a place where you can explain why it is important for you to undergo the process and why that may mean taking more time for recovery than they might feel comfortable with. By letting go of your expectations of how your family should react, you prepare yourself to have a valuable and informative discussion that benefits everyone.
Know What You Want To Communicate
Having a clear idea of what you want to communicate to your family and significant other can make discussions about recovery far less intimidating. Recovery can be a lot to cover throughout a family dinner, but having specific ideas that you want to convey will make it much easier. If you believe that your significant other will have grievances about you spending so much time away while pursuing recovery and healing, have reasons ready to present to them. You might find that it helps to write out the topics you want to cover during dinner discussions with your family. Writing things down will not only aid you in being able to better remember the points that you want to communicate to your family, but it will also serve as a way to practice organizing your thoughts.
The process of recovery can be such a large topic to cover, so narrowing down what you think is important for your family and significant other to know can help you streamline dinner discussions in a way that is easier for them to process and understand. Though it can seem like a tricky undertaking, being clear about what you hope to communicate to your family members about recovery can make the process of having dinner table discussions more efficient and beneficial for everyone involved. Being clear about what you need your family to know about recovery will also help them support you during the process.
When communicating to your family and significant other about what the process of recovery entails, it is important to encourage them to ask questions. By answering the questions that your family has about the process, you can help reassure them that the process is ultimately highly beneficial to not just you but also to them. Though some family members and significant others may see a problem with you spending so much time going to meetings and engaging in other recovery-related activities, answering their questions about why this is necessary can help everyone understand.
Your family members may likely be curious about some aspects of recovery that you had not planned on speaking about. Addressing their specific concerns can help you better understand where they stand in the process. The more your family members get answers to the questions about aspects of recovery that they don’t understand, the more they will be able to recognize where you are coming from. Encouraging your family members and significant other to ask questions allows them to feel comfortable talking about recovery.
Dinner table discussions can be a great time for those in recovery to communicate to their family members and significant others what the process entails. It is important to let go of your expectations before going into these conversations because not everyone may react to the information the way you hope. Encourage your family members and significant other to ask questions to help them better understand what you are going through. If you’re looking for help during your process of recovery, look no further than Renaissance Ranch in beautiful and scenic Utah. At Renaissance Ranch, we utilize the 12-Step program and LDS faith-based principles to help you through your journey of recovery. Ranging from family programs to alumni retreats, Renaissance Ranch has the resources to help you and your loved ones live the life you were meant to live. For more information about our programs and resources, reach out today at (801) 308-8898.