We often hear about the collateral damage that occurs when a family is impacted by addiction. The pain, the heartache, the suffering, the losses.
And truth be told, there are many.
The loss of money, trying to get our loved one help.
The loss of time. Time off of work. Time away from the other children. Time not spent on the things that you love.
The loss of relationship. The many people that abandon you because your family is broken.
The loss of emotional well-being. The anger, the depression, the anxiety, the fear.
The loss of sleep. Wondering where your loved one is. Wondering if they will call today. Wondering if they are alive.
I experienced all of those losses as we walked through this journey with our person. I’m sure if I thought about it, the list could be even longer.
But as I was reflecting back today I realized that I had another list of losses.
I lost my judgmental attitude towards people. I...
Family Disease or Family Disorientation? Either Way, The Medicine is Family Recovery.
Calling addiction a family disease doesn’t jive with the medical model of disease. There isn’t a code in the DSM for “family disease.” Calling it a family disease leaves room for the family to be at fault for a health condition that is influenced not only by genetics but also environment and stress/trauma. Faulting the family makes way for shame, blame, guilt and stigma, which are the biggest barriers to seeking help and recovery. That doesn’t mean that the family doesn’t have influence on wellness and doesn’t need proper care too. They do. For better outcomes for recovery from addiction, a well-educated, fully-supported, recovery-ready family is one of the key factors in overcoming substance use disorder. Families need recovery too.
Addiction impacts the entire family system. The side effects include disconnection, isolation, anger,...