When your loved one enters treatment, it can be difficult to understand how you can stay connected to them. This may be a time of physical and emotional distance, and it is challenging to confront and overcome. During this time, it is critical to remember why treatment will help your family and the possibilities that the future holds.
Treatment Can Bring Your Family Relief
If your family member is entering treatment for substance use disorder, you might be experiencing conflicting emotions. On the one hand, knowing they will be getting the help they need should offer some relief. It has likely been a hard road up until this point.
Addiction can create chaos and pain in a family, and enduring that can quickly become exhausting. There were probably times when you barely recognized your loved one and their behavior, leading to tension and strain. You might have had to take on extra responsibility to keep everything running smoothly in your home and to support your loved one. It might have felt at times like there was no way the situation could get better. That can lead to feeling hopeless and isolated. Finally, knowing that your loved one is in good hands can give you a moment to breathe again.
It Can Even Cause Some Stress
On the other hand, it is likely difficult to part with your loved one. You might feel responsible for their well-being, and now that the situation is out of your hands, the lack of control can be distressing. Treatment is a difficult process, and it can be hard to imagine your loved one going through it alone.
You might feel guilty about recent interactions with your loved one if there was tension or frustration. If you utilized an intervention for a loved one who was resistant to the idea of treatment, you might doubt whether your relationship with them will survive. You might even start doubting whether treatment could help them or if you have made a mistake. While interventions can have positive results when a professional is involved, this confusion and anxiety can still come up.
Look Toward a Brighter Future for Your Family
It is important to remember the positive nature of the trajectory your family is now on. Before treatment, even if your family was staying afloat, you were not on a sustainable path. As substance abuse continues, relationships can become more damaged, sometimes in irreparable ways.
Entering treatment disrupts that pattern and offers a concrete step toward hope. Your loved one may experience anger and confusion about the events leading up to treatment. This does not mean you made the wrong decision. It also does not mean your relationship with them will be ruined. As difficult as it can be, treatment will always be a better option than allowing substance use disorder to go unchecked.
In moments of turmoil, remembering the “why” behind treatment can serve as a tether. Try to keep in mind that this will all be worth it in the end. The time that you are away from your loved one now will create more opportunities for unity in the future.
Why Participate in Their Treatment?
Families have an important role to play in recovery. Treatment is a vulnerable time for an individual; it is a period where deeply ingrained habits must be undone, and new pathways must be built.
Fear, shame, doubt, and anger are part of the process. Your loved one needs your support during this time, and finding a provider that incorporates the family into the treatment process is a good step toward success in recovery and healing for your family. Becoming involved in your loved one’s treatment allows you to stay connected while directly supporting them in their recovery.
If the program your loved one is attending offers a family recovery program or family therapy, utilizing these services will empower all members of the family to come out stronger on the other side. Learning about the process of addiction can help you to understand your loved one’s struggle on a new level and empower you with the knowledge to avoid enabling or reinforcing unhealthy behavior.
It is also a time to repair the damage that has been done to one another and to develop strategies to avoid that pain in the future. Working with a mental health professional to explore family dynamics and learn stronger communication skills can help individuals to better understand their roles in supporting healthy family functioning.
When you are not engaged in family therapy, you can still support your loved one from afar. If the treatment center allows it, you may be able to speak with them on the phone or send them letters and care packages. Furthermore, many treatment providers will be able to give you updates on your loved one and work with you to prepare for their arrival home.
At Family-Centered Services, we know firsthand that involving the family in treatment puts recovery within reach. The strong bonds within the family unit create a network of support that can lift someone out of the darkness of addiction and toward a promising future. This is why we integrate the family into all aspects of our treatment model. We can help your family plan and execute an intervention. From there, our treatment placement consultation services will help you find the right provider for your needs. Our individual and family therapy and Family Recovery Program promote healing for all members of the family, and our case management offers support throughout the process. Call us at (509) 991-5822 to get started.