Addiction can be difficult on relationships with family members. Oftentimes, a person’s addiction worsens because of toxic family dynamics. It can be hard to manage treatment without a family support system. Some find that their support in the treatment community can help them let go of toxic family relationships.
Why Addiction Is a Family Disease
Substance use disorders are often called “family diseases.” Addiction gets this nickname because of how this disease impacts family dynamics and how it is often passed down through family generations. A person struggling with addiction deals with their internal problems, but sometimes their addiction negatively impacts the people in their environment.
For example, a parent struggling with addiction might neglect or abuse their child. A parent might lose patience with their child experiencing addiction. Marriages can break up over substance use, especially if their spouse’s addiction has created a dangerous situation.
All of these factors can cause trauma and resentment and even destroy relationships. This can be extremely painful for the person dealing with addiction because they might feel completely alone without the support of their family. It can make it difficult for a person without support to feel motivated in treatment.
However, even if your blood relatives cannot be there to support you, that doesn’t mean that you have to go through treatment alone. There are plenty of ways to make deep connections with others that are just as meaningful as family connections.
When Your Family No Longer Supports You
During treatment, or even after you’ve graduated from a treatment program, you might try to make amends with people you’ve harmed before you reached out for help. Some relationships are salvageable, but not all can be fixed. The wounds might be too deep and require time to heal. Some people might not trust you based on your past actions. You might also have family that is dangerous for your mental or physical health.
Family might be a source of trauma for you, or some family members might enable your addiction. You may find that you must come to terms with the fact that the people you once considered family can’t support you on your journey.
Your support system is one of the most vital parts of your life outside treatment. Your support system comprises those who can be there for you when things get complicated. If your family can’t be there for you in the way you need, it’s essential to find people who can be there for you and build those relationships.
Let Go of Toxic Relationships
During treatment, you’ll most likely have a lot of time to reflect on your life. One of the many things you’ll need to consider is your relationships and how they impact your life. If some of these familial relationships contributed to your addiction, then it might be time to assess whether or not these relationships are safe to hold onto.
You’ll also need to look at how you’ve impacted your relationships and whether continuing these connections is safe for them now. This can be pretty difficult for close family members such as parents, siblings, or spouses. Deciding whether or not to let go of toxic relationships requires self-criticism, reflection, and honesty.
Find Your New Family
You might feel the gaps where the people you let go. Addiction treatment and recovery opens up a new avenue for making new connections. You’ll meet plenty of people who have been in your shoes. You might meet new people through group therapy and bond over shared stories.
Make New Connections Through Hobbies
Treatment also allows you to try new things that can carry over to your life outside treatment. You might discover hiking or nature therapy while in treatment and enjoy these new activities. After treatment, you could join a hiking group and make new friendships and connections. There are also many sober groups or addiction recovery communities that are happy to include new people.
Make New Connections Through Your Faith
Reconnecting with your spirituality can also be another place to find new family. Treatment might inspire you to attend a place of worship. In these spiritual places, you can bond with others over deep and personal issues while discovering a haven for spiritual healing.
It can feel devastating when you don’t have the support of your family. For many people, their family is their rock. Disconnecting from your family can cause shame and loneliness. However, you don’t need to go through treatment alone.
You can still build a strong support system and a new family just as meaningful as the one you were born in. Over time, you might be able to salvage your relationships, but for now, don’t hesitate to reach out and make new, deep connections with people in the addiction community and your local community.
At Villa Oasis San Diego, you’ll make close connections with our other residents due to our smaller group size and many activities. If you’re interested in learning more about what treatment looks like without family support, call us at (323) 739-8673. We’ll happily address any of your questions or concerns.