In our relationships with family members, we form the initial bonds and behavioral patterns that will impact us for the rest of our lives. These can define our personalities throughout our lives. But what if a family member is struggling with substance abuse? Substance abuse threatens to strain family relationships. Alcoholism and drug addiction traumatize and stress the entire family, and without intervention through a family recovery program, trauma can affect an individual for a lifetime.
Living in an intensely emotional environment of fear and manipulation, family members must deal with high stress and anxiety levels. It is not unusual for family members to feel like they are losing their sense of normalcy and self as their loved one’s addiction makes the family dynamics increasingly dysfunctional.
To cope with this uncontrollable situation, family members may resort to hiding the truth from themselves and others, avoiding genuine connections to minimize painful conversations, and feeling intense levels of guilt and shame. These coping mechanisms can keep family members from seeking help.
But just as the whole family suffers when one member struggles with addiction, the whole family is part of the recovery process. Without a family recovery program, family members may suffer effects that last a lifetime.
Boundaries for the family of those that suffer from addiction can be a huge part of recovery.