If you’ve accomplished something as meaningful and positive as overcoming an addiction, you probably expect everyone you know to be happy for you. However, you might discover that isn’t always the case. Perhaps you alienated loved ones during your active addiction to the point that they’re still angry at you. Or, maybe your toxic or dysfunctional family members are part of the reason you started drinking or using in the first place.
Though having supportive family members could help your recovery go more smoothly, you can learn to grow and thrive with these strategies.
1. Keep Your Distance
Since addiction has a genetic component, you could have family members who live with an untreated drug or alcohol problem. They might continue to drink or use drugs around you, even if you’ve politely asked them to stop. Watching other people get drunk or high can be extremely triggering, which might jeopardize your recovery. It’s best to avoid these unsupportive family members, especially in early sobriety.
2. Make Amends
An essential part of the recovery process is reaching out to people you hurt and mending fences. Be patient and recognize it might take some time to earn back their trust. Show them you’ve changed, through both words and deeds. By consistently working to make amends and demonstrating your commitment to your newly sober lifestyle, you’ll gradually repair your relationships with these loved ones.
3. Create a “Found Family”
Sometimes, your relationships with your biological family members can become so strained that it’s better to cut them out of your life. Perhaps their attitude is so consistently negative that it’s become emotionally draining to deal with them, or you find you can no longer rely on them. Remember, there are no rules obligating you to love or trust someone who hasn’t earned it – even if they’re related to you.
If your biological family doesn’t support your sobriety, it might be more beneficial for you to create a family of choice. Though you don’t share blood ties with these people, you know you can count on them to unconditionally love and uplift you. You might meet them during your stay in inpatient treatment, while volunteering for your favorite cause or in regular meetings of your recovery group.
4. Work to End the Stigma of Addiction
Some of your family members might not support your sobriety because they don’t understand addiction is a chronic disease. They might believe the myth that addiction is a weakness, or fail to see why you needed to seek professional help to quit drinking or using drugs.
You can work to educate them by speaking up about your experiences and being honest about everything you’ve gone through in your recovery journey. This information could be crucial to help them expand their awareness and become more open-minded and helpful.
Immersion in Recovery Culture
At Segue Recovery Support, we offer safe, structured sober housing for people who transition out of inpatient treatment and need a place to reinforce what they’ve learned. We represent the next phase of aftercare for people new to sobriety who might be more vulnerable to a relapse. If you’re ready to learn more about our levels of housing and our response to COVID-19, contact us today.