Recovery is an intensely personal process — only you can make the decision to reach out for treatment and stop using substances. At the same time, recovery revolves around communities to help people deal with the challenges of living a healthier life. For many people, family is a critical part of their community and support system — that’s why involving family in treatment and recovery from day one can be advantageous.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to incorporating your family into your recovery, you should consider whether family involvement is right for you. Here’s why you might want to incorporate family into your recovery process.
Family Is Important
For most people, one of the worst parts of addiction is watching how the illness can erode the bonds with the people they’re closest to. It’s painful to watch your children, siblings, or even your spouse distance themselves from you and your illness in order to protect themselves.
During treatment, you have the chance to repair some of the damage that your addiction wrought. For many people, it’s important to heal relationships with family. Bringing your loved ones into your recovery and showing them the hard work that you’re doing can be a first step toward creating a healthier future.
Working Together can Build Trust
During treatment, most people feel vulnerable. Inviting your loved ones into that space, where you’re trying to rebuild your life, creates an intimacy. While addiction might have made you feel alienated from your loved ones, incorporating them into your treatment can make you feel bonded.
Although it might be awkward at first, as you and your loved ones become more comfortable with the mindset of recovery, you’ll begin to build trust. They’ll recognize that you’re working hard to change; and you’ll see what they want to do their best to support you. Together, you’ll become invested in your success.
They’ll Give an Honest Perspective
Sometimes it’s hard to remember the damages that you did during active addiction. But the loved ones who were hurt by your actions are probably more than willing to remind you of the painful things you did. Although hearing about the hurt you caused can be difficult, it clears the air to allow you to fully take responsibility for your actions, and begin your life in recovery with a fresh slate.
From their outside perspective, your loved ones might be able to point out patterns and habits that you hadn’t noticed yourself. Recognizing and addressing those patterns can help give you a stronger foundation in recovery.
It Clears the Air
After years or longer of living with addiction, most of us will have to have a difficult conversation with our families at some point. While you are in treatment, you have access to the resources and professionals who can help you process these interactions. If you want to have them until after you’ve left treatment, you might be left to process on your own.
Most people want to have a healthy relationship with their families. In some cases, this will look like spending lots of time together; in others, it will mean establishing healthy boundaries. The mental health and relationship professionals that you have access to while in treatment can help you create a new family dynamic that works for you.
They’ll Learn how to Support You
Once you get out of treatment, you’ll need support. When your family can interact with your treatment professionals, they’ll learn how best to support you, and what not to do. Your family might be more willing to listen to and learn from treatment professionals, than they would be listening to you. Because of that, getting them involved with your treatment team can help facilitate your success.
Only you can decide what level of family involvement is right during your treatment and recovery. With the guidance from your treatment professionals, inviting your loved ones to participate in your recovery can not only extend an olive branch, but also help establish your foundation for sobriety.
Sponsored DISCLAIMER: This is a paid advertisement for California Behavioral Health, LLC, a CA licensed substance abuse treatment provider and not a service provided by The Fix. Calls to this number are answered by CBH, free and without obligation to the consumer. No one who answers the call receives a fee based upon the consumer’s choice to enter treatment. For additional info on other treatment providers and options visit www.samhsa.gov.