While you are in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD), you may find that it is difficult for your loved ones to understand what you are going through. You are still living with addiction and working to develop the appropriate skills to manage it. This can often go unrecognized or misunderstood by individuals who are not in recovery themselves. Trying to explain your addiction and helping your loved ones to understand your situation can be strenuous. Using these techniques can help to ease the stress of this conversation.
You must be transparent and honest about your situation when you are discussing aspects of your recovery with a loved one. If there is a consistent level of secrecy within your discussions, your loved one may begin to question your perception of your standpoint within recovery.
It is important to be honest about your progress, any relapses or setbacks, and all other aspects to ensure your loved ones understand your current situation and needs. Being honest will benefit not only your relationship with your loved ones but your treatment team as well. It is also useful for your well-being to maintain honest communication within yourself.
Try to share your feelings, both positive and negative. When you have a difficult time processing everything and coping with the stress of recovery, tell your loved ones. When you bring up your hardships, try to inform them of your current emotional state and how it is affecting your ability to continue recovery. This can help them to understand your current needs and may help you to understand the underlying reasons behind your emotional state.
When approaching this conversation, many individuals feel that they are unable to discuss their needs with their loved ones due to their situation. Being in recovery does not make your opinion invalid. You know better than anyone what you need to help support you through this process.
Don’t be afraid to advise your loved ones on ways that they can support you. If you help them to understand concrete things that allow them to assist you, they can improve their ability to become a strong member of your support system. This can help your family dynamic to bring you success in your recovery journey.
It can be extremely frustrating when your loved ones are not understanding how you feel through recovery. The truth is, if they have not been through recovery themselves, they may not ever fully understand. Try to be patient with them and allow them time to adjust to the concept of addiction, just as you had to.
Create an environment with one another where you can each address the concerns you have without judgment. This can be used as an opportunity for them to further their knowledge of the cycle of addiction and begin to empathize with your situation.
Not only is it important to be honest with your loved ones, but it is also important to be open. At times, you may feel the desire not to state something important regarding your recovery. While you are not necessarily being dishonest by failing to disclose information, you are refraining from being open.
For your loved ones to gain a true understanding of what you are going through, you have to be fully open with them. If half of your journey is not disclosed, they do not have a full picture to develop an understanding from. Being open allows your loved ones to understand what they can do to help you further.
It can be intimidating to share the aspects of your recovery, especially the negative aspects. Remember that you are discussing this matter with a loved one who you care about. They care about you as well and likely want to help you become your best self.
The conversation may not always be easy, but it is vital to help your loved ones truly understand what you are going through. If you work to maintain honesty and openness with them, they will likely be more receptive to the feedback you provide. This way, they can better support you and develop a better overall understanding of the addiction process.
Utilize Family Therapy
If your discussion with your loved ones does not go as planned or you are having a difficult time getting your point across, family therapy may be a good resource. In family therapy, you are provided with a controlled and safe environment for you and your loved ones to discuss any concerns.
With the assistance of a therapist, you can work to overcome the problems you are encountering and set up a plan for healthy communication between one another in the future. In this space, you can utilize the love from your support to assist you in loving and accepting yourself.
Addiction can be difficult to understand for individuals who have not been through recovery themselves. It can be frustrating when your loved ones are not understanding the way you feel or what your needs are. By keeping honest and open communication, providing them with advice, being patient, and utilizing family therapy, this process can be much easier. The conversation to open their understanding may be intimidating and may take time to show that they heard you, but it can benefit your mutual relationship in the long run. To learn more about how to use these techniques to help your loved ones understand addiction, reach out to Destiny Recovery Center at (909) 413-4304.