Too often the dependent person – the person struggling with addiction, becomes the focus of the recovery process. This makes sense as it is their behavior/choices that are destructive, life threatening and possibly fatal. While it is the dependent person’s responsibility to maintain sobriety, their support system also needs guidance and information on how to heal and move forward as part of their own self-care, separate from the recovery process of the dependent person.
In our experience working in substance abuse treatment centers, both residential and intensive outpatient settings, there are opportunities for friends and families to be involved. We have heard many times, however, that family members and loved ones wish they had opportunities to connect and learn on an on-going basis about addiction, recovery, and how to improve their own mental health and increase their happiness regardless of the choices the dependent person may make. It is a difficult dynamic because we care about the person with the addiction and we recognize we can’t control their choices. Ultimately, all we can do is learn how to be healthy, happy, and how to support our loved one without feeding into the disease dynamic and/or taking it upon ourselves to “save” or “fix” them.
In the coming weeks leading up to the beginning of the Families in Recovery Workshop we will be blogging about the following topics:
1. Fundamentals of Addiction and Recovery
2. Understanding Co-Dependency and Enabling
3. Healthy Boundaries
4. Addressing Fear and Anxiety
We will introduce these topics and their relationship to the recovery process for both the dependent person and their support system.
Addiction is scary – like a passenger on a runaway train, we feel a total lack of control about the outcome. If you have not been involved in education or therapy as part of a loved one’s recovery process you might never have heard that a person’s recovery is COMPLETELY up to them. You didn’t cause them to have this disease, you can’t control their disease, and you can’t cure their disease. What you can do is take control of your own thoughts, feelings and behaviors to create more stability in your daily life and be at peace – even when the dependent person’s life is chaotic.
If you would like to learn more about these topics, please check in on our blog for updates. If you would like to explore attending our workshop or engaging in individual counseling, please contact us via email or phone.
Misty & Chris