Addiction can inspire a devastating amount of damage to some of our most cherished relationships and our ability to have honest, trusting, reciprocal relationships. Our behaviors may drive loved family members away or prevent us from being fully honest with them. Reconnecting with our family is one of the brightest parts of our recovery. Here are some philosophies to keep in mind:
Boundaries are healthy
In family homes we are familiar with boundaries in the most plain of senses. You have your bedroom, for example, and your siblings or your parents have their bedroom. Even in shared areas there tends to be your space and my space. In terms of relationships, boundaries are the more invisible lines we hold emotionally which separate ourselves from others. Through treatment you will learn how to set healthy boundaries with your family members. When your family participates in your recovery by attending family therapy, your family members learn to set healthy boundaries with you.
Respect is a must
Family systems thrive on respect. Without respect amongst family members, there is no need for treating one another well. Events which vary may have caused you to lose respect for members of your family. Circumstances of your addiction may have caused members of your family to lose respect for you. You gain respect and give respect when respect is earned through respectful acts. Respect others for being individual, vulnerable human beings and act in respectful ways toward others.
Remember they love you
Family members aren’t required to like each other all of the time. Sometimes, you do things your family doesn’t like and vice versa. What a family will always do is love one another. Even at your worst in your active addiction, your family still loved you and wanted nothing but the best for your health, as well as your happiness. Addiction is often accompanied by a lot of shame. Shame can carry over into your recovery until you learn to let it go. The one thing there is never any shame in is letting your family love you.
Not all family will be on board
Unfortunately, some family members may not be able to let go of the past when it comes to your addiction. Often, this is due to issues in their own past which have little to do with you. You might encounter nuclear or distant family members who are not on board with your recovery. Acceptance is a radical theme in recovery for a reason. Accept their feelings, experiences, and decisions. Love those family members from a distance. Pay attention to the family members willing to love you closely.
Tree House Recovery offers men’s addiction treatment programs in Portland, Oregon. Helping men find freedom from addiction, our programs help men to create sustainable changes for a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474