“Family and Recovery”
A common misconception most individuals have that suffer from the disease of addiction is “I am only hurting myself, what does it matter to you?” While mired in the disease of addiction this not only seems to be reality, but it actually “IS” reality for the suffering addict or alcoholic. The disease of addictions will manifest itself through three thoughts and actions in each individual, Obsession, Compulsion and total Self Centeredness. This causes our loved ones to act in a manner that completely disregards any person that they come in contact with. Most importantly, the sense of family can be absolutely lost by someone who is actively using. I’m sure that you have heard the old adage “If you loved me you would let me live my life the way I want” or “It’s because you did this or that, and that is why I use”. Hearing a loved one speak to us in this manner can cause us pain and anguish in our lives. I know personally that I have said each of the previously mentioned sayings to my family and loved ones. Although, I had no idea of the repercussions that it would cause my family and friends. I thought I had my life under control, I never realized the collateral damage I was causing to everyone around me. I felt as if I was just doing what normal people do and every time something happened it was someone else’s fault. I blamed any bit of trouble in my life on others and left our relationships in shambles.
After coming to the realization that I indeed had a problem, I was able to come to grips of the gravity of my actions and the effect that “MY ADDICTION” had on everyone around me. Picking me up from police stations, cleaning up messes in the house after an all-night bender and most importantly the countless sleepless nights that the endured due to my actions. I was an absolute whirlwind of terror who took advantage of and completely destroyed any single fiber of trust that anyone dear to me would have had. But not only did I need to change, my family needed to change.
My family began to attend support groups for loved ones who were affected by the disease of addiction. They began to realize how to not enable me to continue in my manipulative and destructive ways. They learned how to set boundaries and allow me to learn how to pick myself up after my mistakes. It was the best thing that they could have done for me. They learned that it was not “their fault” that I acted the way I did. It also made me realize the exact same thing. I helped me mature into an adult who has to take responsibility for my own actions.
Hopefully this can shed just a little bit of light onto the reality of Addiction and Recovery in regards to the entire family, and not solely the Addict or Alcoholic. It is a disease that does not discriminate according to race, financial status, or belief systems. Addiction wants to destroy anything and anyone that it comes in contact with. I strongly encourage any family member who is suffering through a similar scenario to give themselves a break and seek “Recovery.” It will be beneficial for not only yourselves but most importantly for your loved one.
Yours In Recovery,