Addiction may be a family disease, but recovery is a family process too. Readjusting to a life without drugs and alcohol comes with its own personal challenges and it can also be especially challenging for loved ones, spouses, and children of addicted individuals.
Group healing is a vital part of the recovery process, and although you may have already completed a family program during drug rehab, it takes continual work to recover from addiction as a family. As you continue working the 12 steps and making your amends, all of your efforts may contribute to establishing healthy and wholesome relationships with your loved ones. Here are eight benefits of family recovery you can look forward to.
1. Better communication
While you were actively addicted, you may have lied to your family, picked fights, or manipulated your way through difficult circumstances. In recovery, things will ideally be different. Ongoing treatment after rehab like IOP teaches us how to move forward after addiction, and begin expressing feelings and emotions respectfully and honestly for the improvement of our relationships. Better communication can also lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another.
Knowing you have your loved ones’ support can go a long way in recovery and it can also be a great reminder that your sobriety has an impact on your family’s well-being and happiness. The recovery process is full of ups and downs, but having your family’s support in sobriety can help strengthen your resolve and confidence. Being a member of a supportive family unit can also provide a sense of community in recovery and remind you that there is more to life than your own personal struggle with addiction.
Social connection, whether it’s through friends, other sober living residents, or your family members, provides assurance that you’re not alone in recovery. Getting sober can be extremely isolating, especially if you come from a home or social circle where drug and alcohol abuse is the norm. Fortunately, connecting with your loved ones is a big part of the recovery process as you learn how to support one another through the daily challenges of sobriety.
4. Less blame
People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol frequently blame others for the consequences of their drug-abusing behaviors. An important aspect of recovery is learning how to take responsibility for your actions, and as a result, forego the blame game. Instead of blaming one another for wrongdoings, you and your family members can finally begin to forgive one another for past mistakes and work on improving behaviors today.
Addiction runs in families but so does forgiveness and recovery. Taking the step to confront deep wounds and forgive one another is a powerful thing. It takes courage, but when family members forgive one another and make the choice to do better in recovery, they are released from all that baggage and can freely walk in a more positive direction together.
6. Emotional healing
With sobriety, connection, forgiveness, and support also comes emotional healing. Continued family involvement in the recovery process can help family members understand their attitudes and behaviors in response to a loved one’s addiction. With that understanding, the person can decide to respond in a way that is more effective. Emotional healing is also important on an individual level for the person in recovery. When the focus is personal growth and emotional maturity, the risk of relapse decreases.
Among families that struggle with addiction, secrecy is common and honesty is often punished. Transitioning from a lifestyle of secrecy and shame into one of openness and honesty takes time and hard work, but families can recover together and create a healthy home environment that nurtures open and real communication. Honesty in recovery isn’t always easy, but its an important part of building genuine relationships.
8. Focus on the future instead of the past
When we focus on past mistakes, it’s easy to blame one another for the pain, the financial difficulties, or the lies. However, when families take on addiction recovery as a team and a cohesive family unit, the focus is much more likely to be on the future, and what can be, instead of what was.
After addiction, there are many things to look forward to as a family. If you and your loved ones need extra support as you make the transition into sobriety, contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today. Our staff is here to help. We operate several sober living homes in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs and provide family support throughout the recovery process.