How Your Recovery May be Affecting Your Family
The recovery process is a long road back to health and wellness. It’s an ongoing process that will require hard work long after your initial withdrawal from drugs or alcohol and your initial therapeutic work.
The recovery process also encompasses more people than just you. Your friends, your family, your co-workers and other acquaintances may all be a critical part of your recovery, and they may all be affected by it in different ways. This can all make a significant impact on how you get through recovery and whether you are ultimately successful.
Here are just a few of the ways that your recovery may be affecting your family:
They May See You as “Different”
Recovery requires you to do some serious self-work and to identify the roots of your addiction. You may make changes that affect the way you interact with people and the responses you have to certain situations. It may change the choices you make about who you spend your time with, the places you go, or even the activities you do for fun.
All these changes may make friends and family think that you are “different” or that you’ve “changed.” It should be true that the recovery process has changed you, but these changes should be positive. Friends and family who feel threatened by these changes are just having a hard time adjusting to the new you. Focus on your recovery and let them work this issue out for themselves.
They May Interact with You in New Ways
When you were addicted, maybe you went to the bar with your best friend every night and drank until you passed out. Now that you’re in recovery, you can’t do that anymore, and maybe you and your friend are both left wondering how to talk to one another or how to spend time together. Or maybe when you were addicted, you always blew your temper at your husband. Now that you’re in recovery, he may still be feeling like he’s walking on eggshells, and he may not know how to deal with conflict with you.
Whatever the case may be, your friends and family are sure to struggle with how to interact with you in new ways now that you are in recovery.
They May Feel Uncomfortable with Some Realizations
Therapy is a critical part of the recovery process. It can help you to get to the root of your addiction and address the situations or behaviors that may be behind it. Some friends and family members may be uncomfortable, or even upset, with what you discover – especially if it involves them.
For example, you may reveal that you were sexually abused as a child, bringing to light a painful family secret. Your family members may want to deny that it happened, or some of them may feel guilty for what they saw as their role in letting it happen. Or you might discover in therapy that you have made poor choices in your relationships, forcing you and your partner to take a closer look at some uncomfortable truths.
Whatever the case may be, your friends or family members may feel threatened by what you discover, embarrassed, helpless, or even angry.
They May Have to Confront Their Own Role
Many of your friends and family may have played a role in your addiction, and your recovery may have to make them confront their own responsibility. Maybe it was a brother who looked the other way while you were using. Or maybe it was a parent who struggled with addiction. Or maybe it was a friend who introduced you to your drug of choice.
Whatever the reason is, these friends and family members may have to do some of their own to help them come to terms with their own responsibility (or perception of their responsibility) for your addiction or the part they played in it.
Recovery is a long process, and you need the support of friends and family to be successful. However, your recovery may trigger issues for your friends and family that they have to confront themselves. Being aware of how your recovery may affect your friends and family can help you to better deal with these issues if they arise so that your hard work is not derailed.
How did your recovery affect your friends and family? Share your experiences in the comments!
About the Author
Kay Winders is presently the resident writer for http://www.badcreditloans.org, where she researches the best way for people to pay off their debts without damaging their credit. In her spare time, she enjoys freelance writing, the beach and gardening.