How Family Members Can Heal From A Loved One’s Addiction

By O'Connor Professional Group

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Addiction is said to be a family disease. When a loved one falls into the grips of addiction, it isn’t only their lives who are touched. Everyone who knows someone struggling with addiction has their lives touched by the disease as well. Addiction can change everything about a person- how they act, the choices they make, and the way that they relate to others. As a result, family members, friends, employers, colleagues, and perfect strangers are impacted.

The impact a loved family member’s addiction has on your life tends to run toward the negative. Watching a loved one act under the influence, hurt themselves, or hurt others, takes a psychological toll, which can manifest physically. Family members wish for few things more than the recovery of their loved one through comprehensive treatment. Family members wish for their loved one’s recovery so greatly, they often forget that family gets to recover, too.  

Family members deserve recovery and healing as much as anyone affected by addiction. You need time to process everything you’ve been through, release your anger, stress, and fear. You need to work with your loved one to establish healthy boundaries, healthy communication, and more. Through the process you will find your own relief, happiness, and freedom.

  • Participate in family therapy: If your loved one attends a traditional treatment program, family therapy will be offered as part of a family programming week or weekend. If your loved one chooses an alternative course of treatment, family therapy can be facilitated. Family therapy creates a safe space for discussing vulnerable truths, processing hurt feelings, and working through dysfunctional family dynamics which might have contributed to a loved one’s addiction. Everyone has the opportunity to heal, as well as take responsibility where needed.
  • Participate in individual therapy: Individual therapy is a cornerstone of recovery for loved one with addiction. Most people have life experiences which need sorting through. There is no better time than a loved one’s recovery to seek your own private therapy to work on your inner issues and find peace in your life.
  • Find forgiveness through empathy and compassion: Family members typically stand in one of two places when it comes to a loved one’s addiction. First is full of understanding, sympathy, and forgiveness as they see addiction as a disease. Second is full of anger, resentment, frustration, blame, and shame as they see addiction as a choice. Forgiveness for a loved one’s addiction is not condoning their addiction or behaviors associated with addiction. Empathy is different from enabling and compassion is different from conceding the fight for your loved one’s life. Finding forgiveness through empathy and compassion is less about your loved one and more about you. Forgiveness allows you to heal by changing how you relate to yourself.

Let the O’Connor Professional Group take the guesswork out of putting a treatment plan together. Our combined personal and professional experience empowers us to empower you with a private consultation and customized plan of action for getting the help you need. Contact us today for information: 617 910-3940

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