For your family to move on from your addiction experience, you may have to help them. Families experience a wide range of emotions such as anger, fear, anxiety or depression during their family member’s addiction. They may need to learn more about addiction and how to get help and support for themselves. It may help them to talk with other families who have experienced similar problems. As your family members are empowered by quality information and acquiring new skills, their negative emotions will lessen toward themselves and you. Helping your family members to acknowledge their feelings may be uncomfortable for you and them, yet it’s important to their and your recovery (Daley, & Marsili, 2005).
Family members need to understand and support your plans to prevent lapse and relapse. Involving supportive family to some extent in your plans contributes to a better outcome for you (Daley & Marsili, 2005). Family members need an understanding of addiction and recovery so they can develop behaviors that will support you as well as help themselves to effectively manage their own feelings and behaviors.
Take a few minutes and make a list of all your current family relationships. For each person on your list, make an assessment of your relationship.
For each relationship:
First list strengths and then weaknesses that may impact your relapse prevention plan. Underline the weaknesses you think are not changeable in the short term, such as a family member who is currently using and has no desire to change.
Check mark relationships that have positive qualities and that you want to maintain and increase, such as your relationship with your mother who is a good listener and uses humor to cheer you up.
This is going to form an important part of your social support plan.