Struggling with a Lack of Familial Support in Early Recovery



It is a sad fact that not everyone is going to be happy about you seeking recovery from your substance abuse disorder. Depending on your circumstances, your immediate family members may be dead set against your recovery from addiction. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as their losing the ability to manipulate you, feel superior to you, or perhaps even fear of a spotlight being shown on their own substance abuse issues. Regardless of the reasons, there are steps you can take to insulate yourself from a lack of familial support in early recovery, and to ensure you garner the support you need from other sources during this difficult period in your sobriety.


First, and most importantly, if there are other active substance abusers in your immediate family it is imperative you physically separate yourself from them during your early sobriety. You need not expose yourself to drugs or alcohol during this time in your recovery, and close family members could easily coerce you into returning to substance abuse for their own selfish reasons. Instead of returning home, you should opt to reside in a sober living facility in order to protect your recovery and give yourself the best chance at lasting sobriety. Most reputable treatment centers, including Evolutions, offer sober living as a part of their continuum of care. This has the added benefit of placing you with friends and recovery peers you are already acquainted with from your time in treatment. Talk with your clinical team about enrolling in sober living upon completion of treatment in order to defend your sobriety from attacks from family members not ready to accept your recovery from substance abuse.


Another step you can take towards resolving this significant issue in your life is participating in family therapy sessions while in treatment. At Evolutions, we have incorporated family therapy sessions into many of our clients’ treatment plans for exactly this reason. It is better to begin addressing any family conflicts surrounding your newfound sobriety while in a safe, controlled environment. While you may not be able to resolve any resentments or resistance on the part of your family when it comes to your recovery and/or past transgressions during your time in treatment, you can certainly get a jump start on the process. After observing and facilitating these family sessions, your counselor will be in a better position to advise you as to what level of contact you should have with your family upon completion of treatment. You should take their advice, no matter how painful it may be, as any exposure to destabilizing forces in early sobriety could sabotage all the progress you’ve made thus far in your recovery.


While we hope that every family member would be overjoyed at their loved one recovering from substance abuse. Sadly, for some this is not their experience as family members resent their getting well for whatever misguided reason they have. This does not have to be devastating to your recovery efforts, however, as the rooms of recovery, your sponsor, and sober support network will provide you all the love and support you need to soldier on in your journey to lasting sobriety. Follow the advice of others regarding your family situation, no matter how painful it may be, so you can remain safe and secure in your recovery program.


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