Family is at the heart of American culture – but when addiction is involved, a family can fall apart without any warning. When a loved one is battling an addiction, family members tend to experience a rollercoaster of emotions that can affect the overall functioning of the family as a system, and, if not resolved, family members may even stop talking to their loved one. If your family is currently in recovery from addiction, it will take a lot of time to recover – but with the right support system and resources, family healing is possible.
Family members – both individually and as a whole – need to implement self-care, which involves taking care of one’s mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Practicing self-care as often as possible will only aid family members in working on recovery and healing. Previous studies have found that family members who have hope, who practice healthy coping skills and who are open to change tend to experience the greatest effects on their wellbeing during this time. There are a number of different activities that can take place, such as journaling.
Journaling boosts creativity, it enhances a person’s ability to reach their goals, it serves as a strong foundation for healing and restoration, it brings about a greater sense of perspective, it clears our emotions, it causes people to feel more grateful about their lives, it helps people heal past relationships that have suffered, it balances and harmonizes, it assists in helping people feel more self-confident and so much more.
In addition to journaling, family members can truthfully benefit from some alone time. Family members can recollect their thoughts and relax, something which can be hard to do amongst the chaos that becomes associated with addiction. When this happens, family members often find that they’re less stressed and more in-tune with their thoughts and feelings. Previous research has shown that exercise can not only improve a person’s physical health but can promote contentment by releasing the stress hormone cortisol.
Spiritual health is just as important in order for family members to regain their strength in themselves, others and the world. Many family members who have a loved one struggling with addiction feel lost and hopeless, especially as they’re tired of being let down by addiction. As mentioned earlier, a spiritual strength can be developed in the process of recovery by involving the values and beliefs that provide people with a sense of purpose in their lives. When family members start searching for meaning and harmony within themselves, they often experience a greater feeling of balance with the rest of the world and internally.
Spiritual practices, such as meditation and yoga, are incredibly important for family members to regain their center amidst all of the anxiety, stress and otherwise worrisome thoughts that come with a loved one’s addiction. There are many self-care activities that can strengthen a person’s spiritual wellness, such as going outside, giving someone a big hug, listening to songs that make a person feel better, engaging in creative activities that spark moments of reflection, acupuncture, prayer, chiropractic services, reading a good book and so much more.
Spiritual self-care activities can be simple – they don’t have to be complicated, and they can bring about feelings of joy, comfort, strength, confidence, connection and more. During times of uncertainty, spiritual self-care often brings family members a sense of peace.
12-Step programs for family members and friends (such as Al-Anon) can provide family members with a supportive group of people who are also trying to find calm amongst the storm. Previous studies have found that people who sustain participation throughout the first 6 months of their 12-Step program are most likely to reap a number of benefits, such as learning how to handle problems with a loved one who is addicted, increased well-being and functioning and reduced victimization from verbal and physical abuse.
Family therapy is another form of social support that can foster improved family dynamics as individuals learn to understand one another better. A licensed therapist will be able to facilitate family sessions with respect and may discuss with family members different scenarios, individual and collective thoughts and feelings, healthy coping mechanisms for getting through these difficult times and so much more. With family therapy, family members don’t have to feel alone – together, they can work through their issues while also knowing that their individual voice matters.
If your family is facing addiction, speak with a professional from The Kimberly Center today, Developing healthy family relationships, including romantic partnerships, is a crucial part of the recovery process. If your partner or family member relapses, there is help and you are not alone. The Kimberly Center is a treatment center that uses evidence-based methods of recovery to focus on your loved one’s individuality and inner strength to help them get sober from drugs and alcohol. Call us today at 855-4-KCENTER (855-452-3683) to learn how we can help your loved one find the care and support they need to live a healthier and happier life in recovery.