Whether you like it or not, when a loved one has an Active Addiction, it can have a devastating impact on the entire family. The stress involved with not knowing what your loved one is doing; if your loved one is safe; or where they are, can take a significant toll on the mental and physical health of the family. One of the reasons for this is the Family Equilibrium is affected. It is critical when there is an imbalance in one or more of the Family Units that the members realize the need for Family Therapy as a means to find this equilibrium again.
Families are comprised of more than each of the individuals, and every family unit is organized in its own unique way. Family members adopt specific roles and develop specific interpersonal patterns and relationships within the family as well as with the outside world. These family interactions create an equilibrium, bringing balance to each family unit. As a result, a change in any part of the family throws the entire family out of equilibrium and balance.
This fragile dynamic is achieved by balancing the attitudes: If a parent is overly controlling, a child may become less responsive or less responsible. On the other hand, when a child or other family member begins acting less responsible (as a result of addiction), other family members may become overly controlling. Everyone in the family is affected by these changes to the balance and the equilibrium of the family shifts as each member changes and adjusts accordingly. These behavioral modifications can be subtle, with changes occurring little by little and over time.
The chaos addiction creates within a family is significant. Addiction puts unnecessary and unwanted stresses on everyone in the Family System. Parents, children, siblings, spouses, partners, close friends, etc. are all destabilized because of the addiction of one or more of the Family. Further, active addiction can undermine the perceived safety of the home environment; addiction weakens family life and confuses relationships, and often negatively affects finances. Additionally, the mental, emotional, and physical health of the family members is also significantly impacted. Without professional treatment, and unless the loved ones and family learns and practices how to do things differently, these effects can be long-lasting.
One of the biggest hurdles in treating Addiction as a Family Disease is the acceptance that everyone needs to change, not just the addict. Among the most important concepts in treatment is the understanding that everyone is responsible for their own actions and that no one can control anyone else. You are not causing the addict to use nor did you cause the addiction, however, unbeknownst to you, you may be contributing to the problem.
The process of Recovery involves acceptance, education, learning, growth, and healing. Through this proves a new pattern for living can be established. The development of one’s awareness of their actions and how others may perceive them and developing the skills to live a healthy, and healed life. Being in recovery means that a person is present, participating in life and in activities that are healthy, meaningful, and fulfilling for them.
Like anything else, progress takes time. Like going to the gym, you cannot expect miracles after one session and in order to grow, you may have to feel some discomfort and pain. The most significant progress will be achieved by leaving your comfort zone and pushing yourself beyond your usual expectations of yourself.
Family Therapy can help you throughout this journey. Contact us now at (772) 584-3083 to schedule some time with one of our experienced professionals. Family Therapy can help you learn acceptance and be at peace no matter what others choose to do and whether your loved one ever begins their own journey to Recovery.