Any type of addiction can ruin your life. It alters the way your brain functions, causes other health problems and utterly destroys your close relationships. The first step of recovery begins with you, but family cannot be ignored. During recovery, many people are eager to begin repairing relationships damaged by substance abuse. But there are also many who feel like it is in their best interest to avoid their family. If you want to take your life in a direction that doesn’t involve your closest relatives, this can be painful in and of itself. A support system is crucial to recovery, but it does not always have to be your family. You are allowed to choose whatever you need to get better, and that starts with understanding why your family may not be the best people to include in your recovery plan.
Addiction Affects Everyone
Substance abuse is more than a personal problem. It’s something that affects everyone in your life. The effects of addiction alter a person’s attitude and behavior in ways that are confusing and hurtful to their loved ones. People feel ignored, shut out, helpless. They want to do something, but their best efforts only seem to make things worse.
One of the biggest challenges people face is understanding how their addiction affects others. It is so consuming on a personal level that they do not recognize the depth and breadth of hurt it causes. The role of addiction in the family can completely destroy a home. Parents may become enablers, marriages can dissolve and siblings can grow to resent their affected brothers and sisters whose problems now dominate the entire family’s existence.
Beyond the anger and pain, there is also an overwhelming fear that substance abuse will kill their loved ones or otherwise ruin their life. While the feelings of the family are valid, sometimes, they are more harmful to you than good. In these cases, distancing yourself might be the right choice at this time to help you fully focus your attention on getting sober and moving on with your life.
You Shouldn’t Include Family in Your Recovery
Knowing you don’t want to include your family in the recovery process is one thing, but accepting the reasons why can be another thing entirely. Ultimately, you are allowed to do whatever you feel is best for you. But are you making the decision because it really is in your best interest, or are you trying to avoid important feelings and realities that need to be processed?
In rehab, your therapist can help you determine how your family may have influenced your addiction, and they can help you identify ways your substance abuse impacted their lives. They can also help you take steps to reconnect and decide the best ways to do so. But before that time comes, there are some reasons you should not associate with your family during recovery.
They Have Addictions as Well
If anyone in your family abuses substances, you may not want them to be in your life after you get sober. Your first year will be the most critical period of recovery. Although relapse can happen to anyone at any time, the first 365 days of sobriety are filled with some of the most difficult challenges. Temptation from your environment will be one of the biggest triggers to avoid, and that means a family member who drinks or uses drugs around you could be a major risk.
They Blame You
Some families cannot get over the role of personal choice in addiction. They fault their loved one to the point they hate themselves and even doubt their own ability to recover. You may have even reached lows where you believed you didn’t deserve to get treatment and live a better life. If your family had not yet been able to move beyond their anger and tried to support your desire to change, then they do not have a place in your recovery. This may change as time goes on; you may even be able to start rebuilding your relationships through family therapy. But for now, focus on your immediate needs and the current situation. You have to choose what is right for you today.
They Are Abusive
If you suffered from any kind of abuse at the hands of your family, you are not, under any circumstances, required to include them in your recovery. Abusive relationships will make you feel guilt, even when you are the one who is hurting the most. Do not let the shame fool you; forgiveness and growth can take place without allowing harmful people into your inner circle. Anyone who abuses or hurts you cannot contribute to your well-being. Recovery is about prioritizing your health and safety over everything, and you deserve people who help you do that.
Choose Recovery, Choose You
The decision to seek treatment is one of the biggest, and you should be proud of how far you’ve already gotten to realize you are ready to change. We want to support you by helping you find the right rehab and recovery services for your sobriety journey. Contact us today at 833-762-3739 any time to learn more about addiction treatment options and substance abuse rehabs near you.