Your family can be your rock, even when your life feels like it is rocky. Even in families with dysfunction, there is often love and support available to you while you are in treatment. Whatever your family situation is, maintaining family relationships while you are in treatment can be a whole new challenge. Because you are transforming your life, your relationship with family members will also need to change. Despite the obvious focus on your own life as you heal, you should also remember to nurture your relationships with loved ones during this time.
The Transformation of Treatment for Addiction
Substance abuse is a family issue. Even if you are the only one who suffers from addiction within your family, your behaviors have likely impacted your family members and relationships with them. Trust may have been broken, and many families experience immense pain watching their loved ones live a life of active addiction.
Likewise, addiction often begins from trauma in the home. Substance abuse can be both genetic and environmental, which means that your addiction is not the only factor causing pain or dysfunction within the family. During treatment, you will also need to address your relationships with these family members and heal from your pain and trauma.
Your transformation during treatment is your choice, but it will also impact your family and relationships. Some loved ones may not believe that you are truly healing or on any sort of road to actual recovery, especially if your past recovery journey has included any type of relapse. Others may have difficulty forgiving you, while some family members embrace your transformation with open hearts and open arms. Whatever your family situation may be, you have the opportunity to maintain relationships during your healing process.
Setting Boundaries With Family Members
Whether you come from a family of dysfunction or abuse or a family of enablers and codependent personalities, changing your life means you will need to change your boundaries with your family members. Setting boundaries does not mean that you do not love them. Boundaries demonstrate love, both for yourself and your family members. They create an opportunity to develop healthy relationships.
Based on your interactions, you will need to determine which boundaries are necessary for each family member. For those family members who trigger you emotionally, you will need strong, firm boundaries. Sometimes, less interaction is more in these types of relationships. For those who are codependent, you will need the ability to tell them no and help them learn to let you sink or swim on your own. Setting boundaries with your family members involves creating guidelines that help you feel safe and healthy during your interactions with them.
Improving Communication Within the Family
Your communication with your family members will likely change as well. As you heal and become more empowered, you will be able to ask for what you need and effectively communicate when you are hurting. Communication improves when you can recognize your feelings and express them to others. You will also learn to listen and hear the needs of your loved ones as they say theirs as well. Family therapy is incredibly helpful as you are in treatment for recovery, allowing everyone to learn new skills and new ways of interacting.
Asking Loved Ones for Support
Being the strong and powerful woman that you are, whether in your career, at home, or in the military, asking for support can be difficult. While learning to let go and allowing yourself to ask for what you need seems weak or feeble, asking for what you need is truly empowering. Your loved ones often want to support you, and perhaps they did not know how to help or what you needed. Not all family members are supportive or understanding. Find the family member who you can trust and feel supported by and ask them for help. Reaching out and asking can be a powerful healing tool in your relationship while allowing them to demonstrate their love for you as you receive the help and support you need.
The Importance of Educating Family Members About Treatment
Most people do not know what treatment for substance abuse entails unless they have been through treatment themselves. There is so much stigma surrounding addiction and treatment, so educating your family members about your experience helps everyone. Knowing what you are experiencing and what they can expect will help you build and maintain relationships while working your way to recovery. Being open and honest about your experiences will allow your loved ones to understand you better and support you in your healing process.
While dysfunctional or toxic family relationships may require some distancing for you to heal, most families will offer support for you as you are in treatment for addiction. Maintaining those relationships during this time can create stronger bonds and a better support system for you to be able to lean on when you need support. At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we recognize the importance of family in the healing process of addiction recovery. We offer trauma-informed care for women who know what is at stake in their personal and professional lives and are ready to heal. Our residential treatment facility in beautiful Costa Mesa, California, offers a safe, calm, peaceful environment for you to transform and prepare to live to your fullest potential. Contact us today at (714) 581-3974 to find out why we use the principles of prosperity, wealth, joy, and abundance to heal and how you can receive those gifts in your own life.