No family wants to watch their loved one battle with addiction. Parents want the best for their children, children shouldn’t have to see their parents struggle with substance abuse, and at the end of the day, siblings support one another, too. Watching a family member suffer from substance addiction is an almost unbearable experience for everyone involved.
At the same time, people in active addiction often wear their family members down to their last nerves. Addiction leads people to take advantage of the countless chances they’re given, manipulate family members to get their needs met, and more, which keeps the painful cycle going. What role could your family possibly have in your loved one’s recovery?
If your loved one struggles with substance abuse, you know this familiar pain all too well. You’ve asked kindly, you’ve begged and pleaded, you’ve made threats, or maybe you’ve even given up. You’ve tried everything you can think of to get your loved one to stop using drugs but it seems like nothing you do makes a difference.
The Family’s Role in Recovery
You may balk at the idea that you and your family have a role to play in your loved one’s recovery.
“What more can I possibly do?” you might ask. “There’s nothing left for me to do. I’ve tried every angle I can think of and they still won’t quit.”
Perhaps there’s another way to look at it: How are you caring for your own needs? Are you looking after yourself and your other family members, or are you so wrapped up in your loved one’s addiction that you’re neglecting to care for anyone else?
It’s easy to fixate on the person with the addiction to the point that everything else takes a back seat. Drug addiction causes murky waters darkened by confusion, manipulation, and exhaustion.
You may be familiar with the six family roles in active addiction. Each member of the family unconsciously takes a particular role as a family member’s problem with drugs or alcohol progresses. From the caretaker to the hero to the lost child, everyone plays a part in the dynamic.
Consider the existing relationships between members of your family. How do people treat one another? Does it feel like everyone in the home walks on eggshells? What is communication like? Does every person have a voice? Do people feel ignored or pushed aside?
Or have you been so focused on the family member with the problem that it’s difficult to answer these questions?
Healing the Family After Addiction
It may be time to widen the scope of your focus and look at how your family is doing as a whole.
Your role in your loved one’s recovery starts with laying a foundation of healing for your entire family. Addiction is truly a family illness which means recovery is for the whole family, too. Lasting healing takes ongoing commitment and effort that considers and involves every member.
But starting the journey to healing isn’t an easy process. Repairing the broken relationships between family members probably feels impossible to handle alone. There are obstacles to uncover, communication skills to develop, connections to rekindle. How can you possibly bring your loved ones back together?
Bringing a Recovery Navigator along for the journey can help. Navigating the recovery process as a family is overwhelming enough without any guidance. A Recovery Navigator provides the course of action and support during the process that your family needs to set the stage for recovery and reach a place of healing.
The whole family has a role to play in the recovery process and a Recovery Navigator gently directs the process back to wellness. Ready to take the first step toward bringing your family together? Connect with us today to set up an introductory call so we can learn more about your loved one, your family, and what we can do to help.