Last evening we had nine participants for our monthly gathering. We talked just over two hours. There were three main themes this evening which everyone related to and shared about: Adjusting, Communication and Trust. Interestingly, all three are closely related to each other.
There are always adjustments when a loved one gets into recovery. These take time and can be uncomfortable for everyone. Relationships are changed when someone comes back after being out of the home for awhile. There is awkwardness. There are new “normals.” All of these take time and the encouragement is to expect that there needs to be adjusting while at the same time honoring your truth and your needs. Asking for what you need as well as dealing with the other needs.
There needs to be more communication when a loved one gets into recovery and/or returns from being out of the house for a time. Sometimes this is difficult especially as the family moves from a place of mistrust, to trust. Time spent talking together takes on a new urgency and awkwardness as this new dynamic unfolds. The encouragement here is to stand in your truth, hang in there with each other in all its messiness and discomfort. This too shall pass!
A thought was expressed in a couple of different ways this evening: “When will I be able to totally trust again that my loved one is not using again?” The answer we arrived at was probably never. Recognizing that addiction, like other diseases, is a relapsing and remitting condition, no addict is completely immune from relapse. Levels of trust grow as our loved ones practice recovery-related behaviors and habits such as support meetings, talking about the ups and downs of life they experience, asking for help when stuck, expressing gratitude, being of service to others.
We also agreed that it is naive to blindly trust and that our misgivings are warranted, especially early on in someone’s recovery.
If you would like more information about the meeting or the information we went over, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. My phone number, e-mail address and a confidential e-mail submission form are all on the Contact page of this website.