Early Recovery and Stable Relationships are often intertwined when it comes to dealing with addiction.
“John has been through detoxification and rehab several times already. His family and friends are very frustrated and confused by his inability to stay sober. His relationships have become fragmented and almost non-existent due to the damage of his addiction. Family no longer trusts him and he no longer trusts them. After being in early recovery for about a month now, John wants to reconnect and talk with his family. He is easily frustrated when it’s apparent they still do not trust him and don’t want to reunite.”
Many addicts damage their relationships with family and friends while using. Sometimes the relationship stays intact but remains dysfunctional in some sort of way. Family and friends may put all kinds of expectations on an addict once they get clean. They don’t seem to realize the complexity of it. Many believe that once the addict is now sober, they can live out their days in harmony. Unfortunately, nothing can be further from the truth.
Trust is a very difficult piece of the puzzle on both sides when addiction is involved. The family has difficulty trusting due to all the damage the addict caused, the addict originally uses due to the lack of trust in his or her relationships. They may take on their problems alone throughout life and no longer know how to emotionally connect with others. Nor do they trust others to help or support them emotionally. Most addicts have a long history of past resentments with family members and trust is never really developed in a healthy way. Most would say that they could NEVER talk about their feelings to their parents and felt they were not being heard. This unfortunately leads to the original isolation and use in the first place. The development of trust is a difficult process that takes a lot of time. Developing a plan of action is imperative for the addict. They may need to attend meetings (AA/NA) for support, or join a group for connection with healthier individuals that don’t use. They may need to set boundaries or limits with problem people. They may learn to ask others for help that have always been consistently helpful in the past. They may need to see a therapist and continue to discuss this plan of action with their therapist, etc.
Addicts need the stability of healthy relationships when in early recovery. It’s important to look at their relationships and distinguish which ones are considered healthy and which ones may not. They may need to end the ones that are not or set limits on them. Some of these relationships may be considered co-dependent, abusive, emotionally draining, or just physically dangerous. It’s important for the addict to get the right help in order to understand these differences. Addicts may be triggered by these types of relationships which unfortunately can lead them back to using again. It’s a process that takes a lot of time and it’s important for both the addict and their family/friends.
If you or somebody you know needs help with support and addiction please call Specialized Therapy Associates today at, (201) 488-6678 to schedule an intake. We can help with Early Recovery and Stable Relationships.