When you have a loved one struggling with addiction or going through addiction recovery treatment, it’s likely you are experiencing a myriad of emotions. After all, addiction is a disease that affects more than just the person that’s fallen prey to it. It also affects the family – the partner/spouse, children, parents, siblings, and even friends.
You may feel confused, angry, lost, alone, and more. You may also be afraid of the future and have questions.
It’s quite normal to have such questions. Here at Into Action, we’re here to offer support to families in a variety of ways.
Our Family Program can help families learn:
We also encourage families of those entering recovery to find and engage in community support groups. They may or may not be centered on the 12 Step principles. This gives you a safe space to talk to others who are in similar shoes, express what you’re feeling, share experiences, and learn more about addiction and recovery.
You may also gain insight from others in how you can best support your loved one during treatment and when they come home. Furthermore, support groups offer:
Regardless of what type of support group you choose, you’ll be able to attend the group with open arms extended to you. The atmosphere of such groups are usually quite accepting, warm, and loving. Most of the people in attendance have been in your shoes and understand the myriad of emotions you may be feeling. You may be scared, angry, frustrated, ashamed, and more. However, typically at support groups people are there to support and encourage you- not judge or reject you.
You can walk into most family support groups and freely share your struggles, strengths, and hopes. This, along with others sharing their stories, can help you to connect with others and share life with a group of people that have the same types of goals that you have – to grow in peace and joy. Many people who attend 12 Step family support groups report that their group buddies become like a second family to them, which can really make a big impact on your life.
Not only do you feel welcomed and part of a larger group, but you can also have accountability through a family support group. The others in the group usually have similar goals. If someone goes missing for a little while, they may get a phone call checking to be sure everything is alright. Having others to be accountable to may help you get to the meetings even when you’re tired or just don’t feel like going.
The following are some common community support groups that can benefit families:
Al-Anon – Al-Anon is a 12-Step support group for adult loved ones of those struggling with alcohol addiction. Many communities offer multiple weekly Al-Anon support group meetings at various times. There are also online telephone and video meetings available.
Alateen – Alateen is a support group for teens who have loved ones struggling with alcohol addiction or in recovery from alcoholism. It can really help teens know that they’re not alone in what they’re struggling with. There are meetings in the community, as well as online.
Nar-Anon – Nar-Anon is a support group for loved ones of those who a struggling with or in recovery for prescription or illegal drug addiction. It’s based on the same 12 Step model as Al-Anon.
Whether you’re a parent, child, spouse, or friend of someone recovering from addiction, having professional and personal support can help significantly. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your loved one’s world, that you neglect your own world. You may have skimped on self-care over the years, being more concerned about your loved one.
Or maybe you wrestle with intense fear and anxiety quite a bit, not really knowing how to contend with what’s been going on. You may also be afraid of what the future holds.
Children may become confused, angry, and overwhelmed, not knowing how to process all the emotions they’re feeling. They may be dealing with shame, fear, loneliness, depression, and more. It can help them immensely to be among others in similar shoes that can offer a safe space for them to share. And, receive insight or guidance as to how to heal and move on in confidence and compassion.
Here at Into Action, we take seriously our role in helping families feel supported. Whether it’s here at the center or in the community, we encourage loved ones to choose various ways to get support. It can help you, your family, as well as your loved one who has been struggling with addiction. Being at your best as your loved one returns home from treatment gives both of you the best chance at a life that is marked with more peace and joy.
If you would like to learn more about family support groups here at Into Action, or in the community, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’ll answer your questions and help you find the best supportive path for you and your loved ones.