Addiction is a family disease. While only one member of the family may have the actual addiction, it affects everyone in the family. This means that the more the family is involved with recovery, the more likely the addicted person is to fully recover. You have made a promise to yourself and to your family to stay clean and sober. So far, you have held up this promise. To ensure that you stand by this, don’t underestimate the power of family.
Family Is Your One Constant
After leaving a rehab facility you are embarking on an entirely new sober life. One of the age-old sayings in recovery is, “Change your people, places and things.”
You must cease spending time people with whom you’ve used. You must cease visiting places where you once used. You must avoid all things you enjoyed while using, such as certain music and even foods. These things can bring back memories and cravings that you simply do not need.
Abandoning people, places and things you are familiar with can leave you in a state of shock. You may feel like you do not know what to do with your life. Almost everything you used to know is now off limits if you wish to remain sober.
Your family wants the best for you. Rest assured, they are still on your side, even if they are hurt and upset by your actions.
Forming close relationships with family and sober friends is absolutely crucial in a successful recovery. Your family will be going through their own recovery process alongside you, so be patient with them, as they have been patient with you.
Make Amends to Those Wronged
Your actions almost certainly affected your family members when you were in the grips of addiction. Recognize that you negatively affected them with your addiction, and sincerely apologize to them individually.
If there was a specific situation that caused harm, do everything you can to make it right. This may mean monetarily repairing a damaged car, or simply spending quality time with them.
Rebuilding trust with your family can take time. Allow them to have the time they need to trust you again. They will likely want to rebuild the relationship just as much as you do; however it’s not easy. The equation for trust is: Time + Consistency = Trust. You must be consistent with your behavior and sobriety, which means avoiding any of your old harmful activities. It also means you are consistently seeking to better yourself and choose a sober life. This may mean finding a new job, new apartment or seeking healthy hobbies. All of these steps will show your family you are sincere about your recovery. Even while you are rebuilding trust and your relationship with your family – they love you. They want the absolute best for you. Rebuilding your relationship with your family will help lift you up and give even more meaning to your rehabilitation.
Embark On Healthy Activities with Your Family
Having heartfelt conversations is an important part of recovery. Forming new bonds through shared interests is equally as important. Suggest new activities that you and your family members can do together. Anything that helps get the body moving and promote health is ideal. You may find that you and a family member have similar interests that you can sharer; perhaps training for a marathon or starting yoga. The exact activity that you do doesn’t matter as much as actually doing it. Your family members will be extremely happy to see you pursuing healthy activities. This will bring you closer together and aid in the family’s recovery.
Lean On Your Family When You’re Not Strong
Regardless of your current status with your family, know that they will accept you.
- You may have wronged them – make amends.
- You may have hurt them – make a sincere apology.
- It may take time – show them consistent behavior.
Remember, your family is a constant throughout your entire life. They remember you when you were a baby, they remember you at your best and they never want to see you at your worst. They want you to live a long, happy and fulfilling life, so make sure you’re appreciating the support they offer and using your newfound sobriety to rebuild your relationships.