“The Codependent Family”-Life After Treatment
Hi, it’s Dermot again. If you read my last blog, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a “Recovery from Addiction Series”, If not read on:
I decided as part of my blogging series, “Recovery in Addiction Series”, to include a few blogs on the family. It is an undisputed fact that family is directly affected by addiction and in most cases, it is the family that eventually help to motivate change in an addict or at least do their utmost to do so. Families also suffer immense hardship through addiction and it does leave emotional scars in everyone. No one escapes the impact and effects of addiction.
Life After Treatment (From a families perspective)
When a person completes treatment and is in early recovery, life for all the family can initially still be very dysfunctional. Any change is hard, especially when there are ingrained habits and behaviors on all sides that have to be recognized and changed.
What to expect
- In addiction the “abnormal became normal” This needs to be identified and addressed in early recovery & boundaries need to be set or reset. “Bury the hatchet”
Examples: enabling, making excuses for, molly cuddling, turning a blind eye, be overbearing.
- Co-dependency – is initially a means of dealing with the “abnormality” of addiction, which can become an obsession in itself.
Examples: Letting another person’s mood dictate your mood, Elephant in the living room, Thinking & feeling that if the addicted person is okay then so are we.
What changes do we need to make
- What to do now: Avoid doing EVERYTHING that didn’t work during active addiction.
- Do more of what works for everyone in the family.
- Give time, time, & let trust be earned by all.
- Talk, talk & talk some more.
- Connection & reconnection are key to recovery.
- Addiction is a “Family Disease”, thus Recovery must be a “Family Response”.
- All or nothing.
- Can we bounce back after a setback or even a relapse?
- Recovery language: I can(do this), I am (worth it), I have (support).
- Positive response is far more productive than a negative reaction.
- Its okay to express feelings: Both good & bad feelings as they are the language of recovery.
- Admitting to addiction is resignation – the desire to use/ drink is still there.
- Acceptance of addiction is Letting Go – the desire to use/ drink is infrequent.
- The best way to go from A to B is through feelings
Coping irrespective of the outcome.
- Do not allow things to go back to the way they were.
- Saying “I let him/ her do it for a peaceful life” is resignation & an acceptance of abnormality again.
- You will lower your own self-esteem & feel worthless, desperate & depressed.
- Recovery is an opportunity for everyone to grow, its best to grow together even if that means having to pick each other up every now and again. – Teamwork
- If the addicted person & or family try to go it alone and work against each other, recovery will fail.
- You cannot fix that which is outside of you without first fixing that which is in you”
- Everyone HAS to put their own needs first, it’s not selfish, but common sense.
- As addiction is unpredictable, so is early recovery.
- Working together towards a healthy relationship is key to ongoing recovery.
- Self-care is how we can achieve this no matter what the outcome is.
- “The Codependent Family”- Life after Treatment, can work well for all the family.
My next article will be is on Gratitude
Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life-changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications.
An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time.
I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.
I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth-seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself.
What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind).
The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through online marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum.
If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want to change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7-day video series to watch.
The articles in “Recovery from Addiction” Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the box below & not on social media sites.
Thanks for your time and have a great day