“Family is everything.” This is a phrase you may hear often. The truth is, family – whether biological or chosen – really is crucial to a successful and fulfilling life. If you are battling addiction, you may have burned a few bridges or strained some relationships as a result of your struggles. Mending relationships and building up and maintaining a good support system can be critical to recovery.
Addiction Creates Distance
In the midst of distress, it can be common to distance yourself from family members or others you may be close to. If you are battling drug or alcohol addiction, this can be a result of shame or guilt, or it could be because you are protecting them from a truth you know they won’t accept or appreciate. Family members and close friends are often the first people to be affected by the collateral damage addiction can cause. Whether they find themselves feeling lied to, manipulated, or just left out, those you love most are typically distanced by their own choice or yours during this time.
Your circle may even evolve while battling drug or alcohol addiction. We tend to surround ourselves with others who enjoy the same activities or live similar lifestyles. This can be a temporary change or could result in losing close friendships or bonds with family members long-term. The distance addiction can cause between you and those you love can be immense. It is important to consider who you really want in your life, and who will love and support you through your efforts to become and remain sober.
Support Systems During Treatment
Treatment can bring up many feelings of guilt, shame, and regret concerning relationships with loved ones. It is important to be realistic with your expectations of family and close friends as they adapt to this chapter in your life. They may not be as receptive as you initially hope. However, it is most common for those who love you to eventually embrace the change and support you in your efforts to become sober and healthy.
Who do you have in your corner? Think about those in your life who will support you and work through this process with you. They may be close now, or maybe the bond you had with them has loosened a bit and will require some initiative on your part. Make every effort to involve your family in this process. With family programs such as workshops, support groups, and counseling, allowing your support system to become part of your treatment and recovery is possible.
Navigating your addiction and the treatment process can be difficult for family members. Engaging them in the process not only gives you a sense of encouragement and support but can guide them in coping and understanding you and your illness. Engaging in treatment programs also allows your family and friends to recover from the ways in which your addiction has affected them. Let them in! The support system you have during treatment becomes the support system you have during recovery and long-term.
It is no secret that battling drug or alcohol addiction often causes tension in relationships with family and friends. Even the tightest bond can be broken as a result of the person you may have become through your illness. By choosing to seek treatment, you are deciding to become a new, better version of yourself. Your family and friends deserve to know and love this version of you!
Reaching out to those who may have become distant or estranged during your battle with addiction can be daunting. Whether you had a falling out of sorts or just lost contact, taking the initiative to rebuild a bond that was lost may seem scary. You could start by writing a letter. Maybe you choose to give it to the person, maybe you just use it to practice thinking through the best words to say. Build up the courage to take that first step, and get them involved in your recovery.
Those who are involved in your treatment and recovery process become the ones who can help support you and hold you accountable following treatment. Having loved ones in your corner as you transition from the person you have become as a result of your addiction to the person you are as a result of overcoming your illness is invaluable. While it may be difficult at first, involving family members in your journey to recovery can help to re-establish broken trust and promote better relationships with your loved ones, moving forward.
Involving your family or loved ones in your treatment experience has many benefits. Feeling supported as you make the decision to better your life can help you stay motivated and on track to recovery. Beyond the treatment experience, establishing a support system in this phase can help you remain motivated and accountable throughout recovery and when life outside of treatment resumes. Renaissance Ranch offers a variety of programs suited to inform and involve family members in your journey. A few examples of our family programs include counseling opportunities, support groups, and various workshops to help those who love you understand your situation and best support you. We recommended taking advantage of our family programs, as we consider addiction to be a family illness. If you or someone you love is battling alcohol or drug addiction, give Renaissance Ranch a call today at (801) 308-8898.