4 Ways to Mend Family Relationships in Recovery

4 Ways to Mend Family Relationships in Recovery



The time leading up to admission into a rehab treatment center or detox facility is always a turbulent one.  The dynamic of the family tends to be strained at this point due to the incessant demands of dealing with an addicted loved one.  Substance abuse can be mentally and physically draining for everyone involved not just the addict alone.  It can feel like walking on eggshells at times, when tiptoeing around the feelings and fragile psyche of the addicted.  Here are four ways to ensure that the family is not hit with any more undue stress and hardship than they already are undergoing.  

1. Forgiveness is Paramount

Forgiveness is the most powerful of all the human emotions and it goes a long way to salvage the broken and fragmented pieces left behind in the wake of addiction into sobriety.  Every family member, the addict included, must first start with forgiving themselves and realizing that carrying any remnants of shame, guilt or blame is counterproductive and may undermine the recovery process as a whole.  Human emotions are strong influencing agents and when we can approach treatment from a place of forgiveness and grace we come out much stronger and increase our chances of success for the long-term.

2. Embrace an Attitude of Tolerance

In a similar vein to forgiveness, tolerance is an offshoot of the same concept all stemming from a place of love and understanding.  Every undertaking in life is easier once we’ve adopted this mindset.  Things become less resistant and forced and more fluid and effortless.  Trying too hard to change someone can lead to resentment and this is a dangerous emotion to elicit when dealing with a person predisposed to an substance abuse disorder.  Relapse is usually presaged by a negative emotion like resentment.  It’s critically important to do your best as a family unit to be accepting of each other’s faults and quirks.  This will enable the family to gel as one cohesive fully functioning unit that maximizes the most out of communication.   

3. Don’t Dwell on the Past

It is so easy to get bogged down by our past follies and let that mar any new positive developments about to be gained whilst beginning treatment.  Recovery is the start of a new chapter in your life full of your most proudest achievements yet to be realized.  If you go into it dwelling on your past blunders and screwups you will have failed before you even started.  This is a surefire way to sabotage any progress while beginning a rehab or detox program.  You should have a fresh new outlook in line with your goals and expectations heading into sobriety.  Do your best as supportive family members to refrain from hashing up any old drama that might be better left alone until the time the individual is more equipped to face it in a rational way.

4. Let Go and Watch the Process Unfold

Aside from the initial intervention it is usually best to remove your family from every step of the rehabilitation process.  Some family members have a hard time letting go and want to micromanage or insert themselves into situations best left for the medical professionals.  The hard part is now over and they are accepting help.  At this point trust in the process and know that your loved one in on the right path to healing and living a clean and sober life shortly.  Too much meddling and prying by family members can have a negative impact and detract from the recovery.  The best thing you can do is just have faith and belief in the tenets of recovery and know that despite what happens you’ve done everything you could do help.  At some point every person needs to take the reins of responsibility and shoulder some accountability.  Family members and loved ones can only do so much, the moment the addict realizes that recovery is incumbent upon them and them only is when real breakthroughs in treatment occur.  Step aside and just let the wise hand of nature run its course.

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