Addiction is a family disease and, especially in early recovery, the family system is often unstable. Strengthening that system and building a supportive network is a crucial part of lasting sobriety. One way to do this is to talk openly with your loved ones about your recovery and how they can get involved. Here are a few things to consider when you’re ready to spark the dialogue:
1. Find the right time and the right words. Talking about your recovery is never easy – and you’ll likely want to recruit help from an addiction counselor or mental health professional to make sure the conversation goes smoothly. Once you do so, you may also want to make an appointment with specific family members to ensure that everyone is focused and present.
Consider preparing some thoughts for when you’re ready for the talk. You don’t need to script out the conversation, but you may want to think about the answers to the following questions:
- What do I need from my family?
- How can my family help?
- What don’t I need from my family?
- What can we do together to ensure success?
2. Emphasize educate and support. Addiction is a family disease and that means that other family members may need help to sort through the emotions they may be struggling with, too. This can be in a form of a family support group or individual therapy or a support group for families of people suffering from addiction. This will help educate your loved ones as well as provide you both with coping tools to heal your relationship.
3. Know it’s OK to distance yourself. There may be one or two members of your family who aren’t the best people to surround yourself during recovery. For example, you may be related to someone who is very negative or unsupportive of your decision to get sober. In this case, don’t be afraid of a little distance. This doesn’t mean you necessarily have to sever ties, just take a break while you’re working toward getting better. Now isn’t the time, for example, to spend your energy convincing a loved one that addiction is a disease.
Intensive Family Therapy at Providence
We conduct a customized intensive psychoeducational and experiential seminar to help you and your loved ones journey toward a healthier place in your relationship. Together, the family can learn to find respect, understanding and growth. To learn more about our family therapy, call today: (866) 247-3307.