In this episode of “Beyond Addiction,” the health of the family after their loved one returns from treatment, featuring author Joe Bailey.
“Beyond Addiction” is a podcast dedicated to sharing an innovative perspective on addiction and recovery. In this series, we discuss an innovative, “inside out” approach to recovery.
After a loved one returns from treatment, how do we make space for the family's recovery?
In Beyond Addiction Episode 7, "The health of the family," Barnett Gilmer, CEO of Gulf Breeze Recovery, and the author of five books on recovery and addiction, including the forthcoming book "The Transformation Principle," Author Joe Bailey, talk about the importance of the family's recovery after their loved one returns from treatment. Joe's focus over much of his career in the addiction field is how addiction effects everyone's health. As Joe explains, "Often the family and loved one's of the addicted individual have become sick too. Denial, anger, resentment, and unhealthy coping mechanisms have maintained a tenuous balance in the family for a long time."
It's critical to treat the family alongside the the addicted individual.
Everybody who has had a loved one who suffers from addiction has been affected by that addiction. As Joe Bailey says: "It's important that the family and loved ones receive treatment alongside the addicted individual while he or she is in treatment."
The addict is not the only one affected by the addiction. Friends and family suffer too:
As family members seek help for the addict, they need to find help for themselves too.
Even though the main focus is naturally on the individual who has the addiction, Gulf Breeze Recovery has a strong family component built in so treatment is more universal in the guest's life when they come home. It is often the case where the person receiving treatment returns to a sick environment, when the other members of the family are left out of the recovery process.
When we're in a relationship with someone suffering from addiction, we're just trying to survive.
Inevitably we engage in behaviors through no fault of our own that result in further enabling the individual. Attempting to do damage control, hoping it will just go away, we engage in subtle strategies to appease them. We encourage family members to first forgive themselves. Everyone is just doing the best they can under difficult and painful circumstances. Ultimately, the best we can do is rediscover our own health and wellbeing.
The loved one used up the money on their addiction, now they're getting all the attention in treatment, don't I have a right to be angry?
Now you're left cleaning up the wreckage of your loved one's addiction, it's natural you'll be angry, hurt, and resentful. Maybe you even feel guilty because you now feel relieved they're not around causing trouble. In this situation, the ultimate goal is forgiveness, and we try to help the family see past the layers of problems caused by the addiction to the authentic person they loved all along.
It takes time, patience, and love to rebuild trust and accountability.
Usually when addiction has been a part of the family dynamic for a long period of time, new boundaries that may have never even existed before, need to be reestablished or created and adhered to. Everyone needs to learn how to be more honest and truthful, while learning to create healthy boundaries around what is acceptable behavior, and this sometimes takes a lot of aftercare with an experienced counselor. That's why Gulf Breeze Recovery maintains counseling sessions for the family while in, and after treatment.
Keep it simple and stick to the basics, recovery is a gradual process.
Here's some things to remember:
- Keep communication honest and sincere
- Holding everyone accountable
- Keeping hope
- Believing in everyone's ability to heal and recover
The family needs time to return to a sincere level of trust which takes time. Take the time, you've earned it.
Our guest's families tell it best. Michelle talks about what her family went through with their daughter's meth addiction.
Haley's Mother Michele not only overcame her own denial but also found the strength to set boundaries and wait for Haley to genuinely want her help. Michele talks about that, how she found Gulf Breeze Recovery and the relationship she now enjoys with her daughter a year and a half later. Michelle's daughter Haley talks about what she was experiencing before and after treatment
About Gulf Breeze Recovery:
Gulf Breeze Recovery is changing the future of addiction treatment with the THRIVE® program focused on overcoming chronic relapse.
Gulf Breeze Recovery’s THRIVE® program is a non 12-step approach designed for those who are looking for a drug and alcohol treatment program to produce a different and positive result.
This non-12 step program allows you to drive beyond your addictions and promotes a new outlook on life.
We are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and our last audit scored 99.7! Also, we are gold certified by the Joint Commission.
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