Family Addiction Recovery: A Blog
Although achieving the first steps on the path of recovery from addiction is a personally powerful experience, coming face to face with the damage to family left behind and the amends that need to be made can be overwhelming. When my head cleared up in the first months of recovery and I became truly aware of how much I had hurt my family, I did not know if the ruins in my wake could be cleaned up. I did not know if those bridges could ever be repaired.
I soon realized, however, that rebuilding family relationships was not just about cleaning up the mess. No matter how much I wanted to do so, I could not repair those bridges on my own timeline. Rather, I needed to provide them with evidence that I had changed by learning to be a positive and productive member of my family. I needed to develop patience in order to respect the individual forgiveness process of each family member in relation to my recovery. In truth, back in the day, patience wasn’t really my thing. I did not like it, and I still don’t. I want what I want and I want it now, but such an attitude proved to be quite detrimental both in early sobriety and in practically every other facet of life.
As I continued to make progress in early sobriety, the old demons of past behaviors and the lingering presence of my character defects led to new difficulties. By removing the drugs, my best friend and my number one coping mechanism, I was placed in a very difficult position. The old emotional triggers related to my family became inflamed as my new resentments popped out of the woodwork. By using the emotional tools and approaches discussed in this article, I was able to avoid the pitfall of generating more damage. Even more importantly, I found a way to slowly rebuild the family relationships that I so deeply valued. A key for me was to remember to take it slow.
1) Begin With The First Circle By Forgiving Yourself
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Timothy Harrington is passionate about helping family members of the addicted loved one awaken to their own power and purpose.