While addiction can feel incredibly isolating, it also has drastic effects on one’s family, friends, and loved ones. Family members may be concerned far before one takes their first step into a detox or residential treatment program. Reconnecting with one’s family in sobriety can be an intimidating but incredibly rewarding part of recovery, and learning how to approach, communicate, and make amends with one’s family is a testament to one’s continued transformative efforts.
The Importance of Family
Family plays an integral role in one’s life, and these crucial relationships can become strained as a result of the use of drugs or alcohol. However, family can also be an incredible resource for maintaining sobriety. Family members can provide support and understanding for one’s sober future ahead. Reconnecting with one’s family can be a tumultuous time with a mix of anxieties and stresses. Facing one’s family and rebuilding these relationships takes effort, and there is no easy way to overcome the schisms that may have developed as a result of the use of addictive substances. However, it is always possible to reconnect with family and establish a unified, sober front for one’s continued sobriety.
Of course, one’s family can take many forms. One doesn’t necessarily need to make strides to rebuild relationships with one’s biological family in order to set themselves up for success in sobriety. Rather, one’s family can include people like trusted friends, caretakers, and newfound relationships developed in sobriety.
It Is Going to Take Time
There is nothing easy about overcoming an addiction to any kind of drug or alcohol, and one’s personal journey with recovery and sobriety is an ongoing process. Likewise, families also need time to adjust to one’s new outlooks and perspectives on sobriety. There may still be many scars and pains from when these relationships were strained. While reconnecting with family is important, it also isn’t necessarily something that is going to happen overnight. Rushing the process of amends and forgiveness can end up having the opposite effect.
Reconnecting with family can take time. However, that doesn’t mean that one should wait for others to forgive and forget. Rather, using this time to continue bettering oneself and putting in effort for these important relationships can continue to reinforce one’s newfound sober transformation to oneself and one’s family.
Be Prepared to Apologize
Addiction can have a negative impact on one’s physical health, mood, and behaviors. Recovery can be such a transformative and clarifying time as an individual adjusts to a new lifestyle free of addictive substances. One may realize the impact that addiction has had on others as much as oneself, and processing this can be emotionally straining. Apologizing for how one may have acted can be a difficult thing to do. Despite the difficulty, it is important to make sure that these apologies are specific in order to begin the healing process with one’s family.
Apologizing for specific instances, behaviors, or other negative consequences of addiction can highlight how one is changing and learning. Generic apologies do little to show how one is embracing a new mindset, whereas describing specific events and emotions can create a more honest, authentic dialogue as one continues to reconnect with those most important in their lives.
It is also important to be open to discussing difficult memories or emotions. While facing guilt and shame is a difficult thing to do, having these open and honest conversations is necessary to connect with family. For some, family members may harbor resentments or anger. Family members may feel they need to express these resentments, and an individual will have to face these conversations in order to begin healing as a unified family.
Continue Focusing On Yourself
Making efforts to reconnect with family is difficult, but one should never lose track of one’s sober efforts. Continuing to attend recovery programs like outpatient therapy or engaging in volunteering efforts is crucial for building one’s new sober identity. While it may be tempting to do anything and everything possible to reconnect with family members, one cannot do so at the expense of their own sober goals and emotional health. Doing so creates a situation where an individual is sacrificing parts of themselves for the sake of others and compromising coping strategies that are necessary to maintain one’s sobriety. By continuing to focus on oneself, an individual can continue to reinforce this sober identity for the family to see.
Hold Your Word
Promises and commitments cannot be taken lightly. Whether an individual is expressing their feelings or taking on additional responsibilities around the house or professional sphere, keeping an air of honesty and accountability is crucial for reconnecting with family members. There is nothing simple about navigating forgiveness and rebuilding relationships, but keeping an attitude of honesty and transparency can go a long way in facilitating a healing dialogue between family members.
Families play an important role in addiction recovery, and we at Hawaii Island Recovery are committed to helping you rebuild these important relationships while continuing to personalize your own recovery efforts. Whether you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, we can help you reconnect with family while providing a safe and comfortable place to challenge your own sober goals. Our comfortable, intimate atmosphere allows us to personalize your time with us, focusing on your own sober transformation along with your social, psychological, and spiritual needs. For effective residential alcohol and drug treatment in Hawaii, we are available today both as a welcoming facility and resource to help you find the help you need. For more information on how we can support you on your sober journey ahead, call to speak to us today at (866) 390-5070.