Help For a Loved One
If your loved one struggles with addiction, you understand how isolating that experience can be. Shame, fear of stigma and cultural silence often keep family members suffering in the shadows.
Families deal with and experience the disease of addiction in many different ways. Coming to grips with the reality of whatís happening can be extremely painful. And sometimes confusion, misunderstanding and other barriers can make the process of getting good help very difficult.
As a family member, you may be facing other unique challenges as well.
Unfortunately, itís not uncommon for family members to feel that schools, law enforcement or other elements of ďthe systemĒ have treated you poorly. You may have run into privacy issues with treatment providers, struggled with how to talk about your own experience or faced silence even within your own family.
These challenges are not easy. You are probably grappling with how to support your loved one while setting appropriate boundaries. Parents of teens and young adults may feel guilt or responsibility for their childís addiction. Or that others might be blaming them for the problem.
Youíre not alone
But family members donít have to face these problems alone. After all, nearly one in ten Americans suffer from a serious alcohol or other drug problem. Chances are, someone you know is also directly affected.
Recovery is possible for anyone and itís important to have hope. But itís also important for you to try and focus on your own recovery even if your loved one continues to struggle.
For family members, recovery can mean many different things. It may start with forgiveness, compassion through a better understanding of the disease of addiction or focusing on healing following a loss.
Some families who are further into their journey have found that breaking the silence within and outside their family helps support their own recovery process.
In many communities, personal stories from family members havenít often been heard. When family members speak out, they help normalize the addiction experience for others.
If youíre a family member in recovery, consider sharing your own story.