Including Your Loved Ones in Your Recovery

Including Your Loved Ones in Your Recovery

Table of Contents

Addiction is often referred to as the “family disease” because it affects the family dynamic in a way that seems almost irreparable. A loved one caught up in the thralls of substance use disorder (SUD) can cause trauma, resentment, and broken relationships among their immediate friends and family. After treatment, bad feelings and mistrust might still exist but know that your loved ones still care about you. Your support system is a vital part of recovery, and sometimes, the best way to fix those broken bonds is to include your loved ones in your care if they so wish to be. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe ways your loved ones can be included in your healing process.

Strengthening Your Support System

The people you keep in your life are valuable to your recovery. This holds especially true for your closest friends and family members who were there for you before you began treatment. Including them in your recovery strengthens those bonds that your addiction might have negatively impacted. Loved ones who want to support your sobriety might ask how they can help. While it might be tempting to go it alone, including your loved ones has plenty of benefits. Together, you can both grow from the healthy choices you make in your recovery.

Helping Your Get to Your Obligations

An easy way a loved one can help you through your recovery is by offering you a form of transportation to your various appointments and obligations. Depending on your financial or legal situation, there might be a chance that you do not have a reliable form of transportation. Not having a car or a valid driver’s license can become a barrier when seeking after-care services or attending classes. If your loved ones are comfortable, they can offer a reliable ride to your appointments if they are available.

Eating Clean With You

Another critical aspect of recovery is what you put in your body. It’s easier to change your diet when the entire family is on board. Together, you can create healthy greens and whole foods menus that help the entire family eat enough vitamins and minerals. Choosing the best dietary options can improve the mental and physical health of the adults while teaching your children valuable lessons that they can carry into their lives.

Creating a Family Workout Plan

Daily exercise is a fundamental part of your recovery foundation. Moving your body every day can relieve stress, improve your sleep, and keep you physically healthy. A great way to keep your loved ones involved is to invite them as workout buddies. Invite them on a daily jog, take a class together, or play a sport. There are plenty of ways you and your loved ones can stay active together and benefit from staying physically fit.

Having the Tough Conversations

While working out and eating well are essential to healing your body after SUD, repairing relationships and healing emotionally is just as important. During addiction, you might have struggled with mental health mightily. Many of those who become addicted have underlying mental health conditions that cause them to self-medicate to cope with daily life. As a result, you might have hidden your deteriorating mental health from your loved ones, or you weren’t honest about why you became addicted in the first place. Additionally, your addiction may have strained relationships due to frustration, resentment, and fear caused by your choices.

Revealing the ugly truth underneath your addiction might feel scary, but giving your loved ones a complete picture might help them understand why you became addicted to drugs or alcohol. It may provide them with a sense of closure to that chapter of their lives and allow room for forgiveness.

Attending Family Therapy

This might not seem like the most fun activity on the list, especially if your family dynamic is toxic. The idea of your family sitting in a room and discussing your addiction with a stranger might seem like an awful idea, but there are plenty of benefits to family therapy.

Family therapy allows for a safe space for your loved ones to talk about complex subjects. If you are worried about having tough conversations with your family in a private setting, talking them through with a trained family therapist can be the next best thing.

Your family therapist will guide the constructive discussion, unearthing the real issues surrounding the toxic dynamics of your family. Your therapist will also coach the family on conflict resolution, communication, and codependency.

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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