Fathers looking to further their sober lives following dedicated treatment and recovery programs can still face many challenges, especially when attempting to reconnect with family. Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the efforts of fathers and their roles in the family. For families and fathers in recovery, this time can also bring complicated feelings while rebuilding these important relationships and rectifying the ramifications of substance use.

The Effects of Addiction on Fatherhood

While there are many consequences of substance use disorder (SUD) on a personal level, impacting a person’s physical, emotional, and mental health, the profound effects of substance use can also have a drastic impact on a father’s ability to parent. Acknowledging the effects of addiction on each person’s parenting strategies and efficacy and addressing them is the firsts step in reclaiming a fatherhood role. 

Some of the common effects of substance use on fathers’ ability to parent include:

  • Increased anger, aggressing, yelling, belittling, or physical outbursts
  • Persistent irritability
  • Self-isolation
  • Decreased physical or emotional availability
  • Inability to support children or spouses
  • Disinterest in family activities or gatherings
  • Distance from previous hobbies or self-care outlets

Fathers can also find that their past use of drugs or alcohol can have lasting effects on the emotional well-being of their families. For some, missing out on key events with their children – such as going to sporting events, missing birthday parties, and more – to engage with drugs or alcohol can have fundamental developmental effects on children. Others may adopt unnecessarily aggressive parenting styles, or administer unfair consequences upon children. Addressing recovery and approaching Father’s Day as an opportunity for healing involves not just highlighting the cessation of the use of addictive substances but also acknowledging the various lasting effects that these substances have had on the lives of their families. 

Using Father’s Day to Highlight Change

While Father’s Day is typically a time to appreciate the efforts of fathers and their continued contributions, Father’s Day for fathers in recovery can have a different tone. However, it is possible for fathers to harness this time to facilitate familial healing. Hawaii Island Recovery’s dedicated efforts and family programs focus on change, progress, and sobriety all carry profound impacts on both fathers and their families. 

Expressing Gratitude

Fathers can use Father’s Day to give back to families in a variety of ways, not just using the spirit of gratitude and turning it back to families and loved ones but also using the time to highlight each person’s continued change. Giving back to families, expressing thanks, and further taking the focus off of oneself by expressing gratitude can all be powerful acts of change for fathers using Father’s Day to further the healing of these relationships. 

Doing Something Together

While some fathers may enjoy using the day to focus on their own needs and hobbies, fathers in recovery can instead use this time to continue reconnecting with family and establish new traditions. Even if it can be impossible to truly “make up” the time lost while using addictive substances, it is always possible to create a new and transformed normal. Instead of doing something by oneself on Father’s Day, using the day to take the family, spouse, or children to the movies, park, or engage in other familial events can foster a great change in perspective for Father’s Day. 

Supporting Sober Fathers on Father’s Day

While fathers may be changing their approach to the holiday in sobriety, families supporting a father’s sober transformation can also approach Father’s Day with newfound intentions. The day can serve as a catalyst for new approaches to giving thanks while maintaining a sober focus. 

Encourage Self-Care

Many fathers undergo a profound transformation throughout their sober journey. Continued sober efforts and strategies are always changing and adapting to new stresses. Unfortunately, stress, anxiety, depression, guilt, and more are incredibly common for fathers, even while successfully managing their sobriety. Using Father’s Day to encourage self-care outlets can bring attention to new hobbies that may have developed in sobriety, supporting these new sober identities while encouraging further engagement in self-care practices. Gifts, such as materials to engage with artistic endeavors, or other new hobbies to going out to an event that highlights newfound interests can all be amazing approaches to Father’s Day while continuing to encourage sobriety. 

Talk About Change

Guilt can be a profound and persistent feeling for fathers overcoming SUD and coping with their regrets and consequences of past use. However, taking the day to acknowledge the changes each person has undergone can help fathers and families alike identify the efforts, dedication, and change that fathers have committed to in sobriety. Talking about change can add perspective and help fathers feel recognized for their change, even if there is still further healing needed in these relationships ahead. 

Healing as a Family This Father’s Day

Addiction and SUD will always be a familial affair. Fortunately, Hawaii Island Recovery is committed to exploring abstinence and the reparation of key familial relationships together through family programs and support. Engaging in family programs at our rehab centers in Hawaii can ensure that fathers and their families are prepared to address Father’s Day with a newfound perspective, intention, and strategies to facilitate further healing each year. 

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate fathers and their familial contributions. However, for fathers and families overcoming addiction, using the holiday to highlight change and progress can be paramount. We at Hawaii Island Recovery believe that familial healing is a necessary part of a truly transformative recovery program. Our dedicated rehab centers in Hawaii incorporate the spirit and experiences of the family into each of its programs. Addressing the stresses and strategies that fathers can use in recovery and continued focus on familial healing and education, it is always possible to create a new family dynamic this Father’s Day. For more information on how we can personalize your journey this Father’s Day, call us today at (866) 390-5070.