First, recognize that there will be conflict between the recovering person’s needs (i.e. going to meetings) and the needs of their family (i.e. wanting to have their parent/partner around more often). Also note that the partner and children of a recovering addict are going through their own process of recovery. They may have taken on more tasks and responsibilities while the addiction was occurring, and may be reluctant to relinquish the control they had. The family members of an addict may also be managing self-blame that they have for the addiction, and the recovering addict must help their family to realize that the family was/is not at fault for what happened. Lastly, there will be a need to create a “new normal.” Since the old pattern in the family surrounded the addiction, such as knowing mom would come home from work and drink from 5 p.m. until she fell asleep, a new tradition must be made. An example of this could be doing homework with your children after school, and then cooking dinner together as a family.
Managing recovery in a family while managing one’s own recovery is a difficult task. Call one of the therapists at Philadelphia MFT for a free consultation to find out how we can help ease this transition for you and your family.
This topic of the week was written by Danielle Adinolfi, MFT