8 Reasons Why Your Family Can Be Your Greatest Support System in Recovery

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Family dynamics often become a roller coaster ride in the throes of addiction, even if only one member of the family is addicted to alcohol or other substances. Trust in each other erodes completely, daily family time is zeroed down, and behavior at home may be unacceptable, not to mention the mental toll on every family member’s health.

Families suffer greatly when they see their loved ones in trouble. More than that, they are often left at the mercy of their addicted loved ones, with increased instances of domestic abuse, rude behavior, verbal insults, and so forth.

When you are in active addiction, it can be hard to see beyond any suffering but your own. Not only does your family suffer as you do, but they are an integral and indispensable part of your recovery process. A positive relationship with your family can help determine the success of your recovery and ensure a peaceful post-recovery life.

Here are eight reasons why you should rely on your family as an effective support system in recovery.

1. They have already functioned as a “dysfunctional system” over the years.

Yes, that’s right. Over the years, the effects of a loved one’s addiction often result in different family members taking on specific roles to cope with the ensuing trauma. Someone might help calm down the addict when they are drunk, high, or angry. Another family member takes the role of adding humor to lighten up stressful situations. Someone else becomes the most emotionally involved and shoulders those burdens. All in all, your family has already faced your addiction and fought it with great strength and will.

2. They know you inside and out, so they can evaluate your treatment choices better. 

Your spouse, parents, children, or any other loved ones know you better than anyone else. They have seen you suffer and suffered with you. Therefore, they are more likely to understand and predict your actions, reactions, touchpoints, and sensitivities. When they support you during your treatment process, you feel safer and more confident. A loving family can support your recovery journey in unimaginable ways.

3. They help you not only achieve but maintain your sobriety.

Jaywalker ensures that families play a major role in maintaining their loved one’s sobriety. Not only does the program involve and engage your family in the recovery process, but it also teaches you how to position yourself as a loving and active member of the family again. In fact, family plays a parallel role in your recovery journey through the dedicated programs, activities, and communication networks that are part of our programming.

4. They help you realize your mistakes and accept them. 

Accepting your mistakes and admitting that you are an addict is a vital part of the 12-Step program. Family can be very helpful in this regard, helping you come to terms with everything that happened, what went wrong, how your addiction affected others, and how you can avoid these situations in the future. Be careful not to make premature amends that may cause more harm- the steps tell us

5. They provide emotional support when other connections are lost. 

Many addicts are functionally cut off from family communications when they are using, in some cases for months, years, or even decades. When you can no longer connect with the “friends” you drank and used substances with, your emotional need for support doesn’t go away. Thankfully, with emotional support from your family, you can feel the ease and comfort of sharing your thoughts and feelings with people.

6. They help keep track of your treatment success. 

Not only during treatment but after you go back home, your family remains your 24/7 tracking system. They are usually the first ones who will notice side effects from any medications you are given. In addition, your family is there to listen to any thoughts you have about group activities, therapy sessions, and techniques learned during the recovery program.

7. They can help prevent relapse.

Relapse is always a possibility, and episodes of relapse can occur. The only immediate mechanism to avoid it is ensuring that your family is always with you. Your family can also help ensure that you go to meetings and can encourage you to call your sponsor and work the steps. When you are stressed, lacking self-confidence, or any other struggle that can lead to relapse, family can help you through.

8. They know all about your past.

Your spouse, parents, and other family members are likely aware of any past incidents or traumas that have or can trigger your desire to use. Because they have been a part of your addiction journey from the start, your family is the best source of information about your life experiences, pain points, anger issues, violent streaks, etc.

Of course, families aren’t perfect, and not every family will be able to provide unconditional love and guidance. If you are blessed with a family that is eager to help with your recovery journey, their love and support can be an essential part of your success.

The family’s role in addiction recovery is undeniable, from personal knowledge of past traumas to preventing relapse to acting as a communication bridge between you and the world around you. At Jaywalker Lodge, we understand the unmatched position that family holds in the recovery process for those struggling with addiction, including pre-recovery and post-recovery. Many of us here at Jaywalker Lodge have gone through similar journeys of our own and we’ve seen firsthand how the 12-Step program works, especially with family support. We aim at helping men achieve happiness and meaning in their personal, private, and professional lives through this highly effective program. If you want to regain your freedom by recovering from addiction, Jaywalker Lodge is here to help, no matter how many times you have already tried in the past. The 12-Step program, combined with the active involvement of your family, is the best formula for lasting recovery. Call us now at (866) 529-9255.

author avatar
Stefan Bate, MA, LAC, CCTP Chief Clinical Officer
Stefan Bate, BA, MA, LAC holds a Master's Degree in Applied Psychology from Regis University and is a Licensed Addiction Counselor in the state of Colorado. Stefan has wide-ranging experience in the field of addiction recovery including: working as a recovery coach, therapist, and program director.

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