“Blood is thicker than water” is an ancient English proverb that means familial bonds will always be stronger than the bonds of friendship or other loves. This being said, the family dynamic is a forced relationship that none of us ever chose. For some this involuntary link is an extraordinarily beautiful thing that fabricates joy in all of it’s corners, and for others it is a dark cloud that glooms over their existential ambitions. Possibly harsh words, but for those individuals maybe bitter apple really doesn’t fall far from its family tree of origin. Maybe there’s so much likeness that it causes strife within the tree. Maybe in other instances it creates the closest of family ties.
Regardless, family is family. Without getting into the “nature vs nurture” debacle, the time spent with our kindred really affects us in some capacity. Whichever between nature and nurture takes more precedence is irrelevant. The point is that our actions influence our family ties much more than we can ever imagine. Because of this, everybody and their family have a specific dynamic that makes the relationship special. Nobody can imitate that connection because nobody can feel what you or they specifically feel. Be that as it may, despite the circumstances of one’s closeness with others, nobody wishes to see their blood struggle when push comes to shove.
When alcoholism comes to be a part of the picture, attached to other family members is usually worry, doubt, and/or experiential fear. It hurts to watch anybody suffer. It hurts even more to sit idly by while watching the disease consume the person affected. Change becomes necessary, but it has to come from all of those corners. That change won’t be easy unless everybody is on board. So when it comes to the importance of family in recovery, there must be a cautious way to go about it so that everybody isn’t sucked into the gravitational pull of the disease. This change is meant to be a healing process for everyone involved.
The Importance of Recovery in Family
The importance of family in recovery is subjective through addiction being a family disease. This can translate to the specific genealogy of the lineage, or can just mean the butterfly effect created affects all. Either way, it is not something that can just be forgotten about, or just said “no” to. This is a mental blockage that must be dealt with for a lifetime once prominence is gained.
At the same time, there is a light at the end of the chemical tunnel where addiction doesn’t reign like the evil tyrant it is. To find this light takes time though. This means putting in a lot of work into the dependency situation. What kind of work is put in depends from which angle you’re coming. Some are dealing with a loved one battling addiction, while others are the hosts for the nasty disease. So everybody’s approach will needingly vary. Some tried and true methodology that works for both sides might include though:
- Setting Proper Boundaries
- Practicing Communication
- Letting Go of Resentment
- Not Living in Fear
- Not Stressing Over Little Things
These are just a few to get the ball rolling. It’s safe to say that employing the importance of family in recovery usually has a lot of obstacles to overcome without enabling the situation.
A Family Disease
Yes, addiction usually bares some discomforting problems with it, but these are never a death sentence for the person willing to change. It takes years and years to do that kind of work on an individual. So to have expectations that it’s just going to be smooth sailing once the substances are dropped is creating too large of a pedestal.
In the same breath, there should be some assurances written in stone. Mistakes happen to everyone but intentional mistakes are something else. Bouncing off of this, the importance of family in recovery and the importance of family in addiction are two entirely different things. On one hand you’ll have a loved one that is like a hurricane of problematic events, or the other hand where your loved one is themselves and can be loving and supportive right back. The choice lies within.
Being tolerant and providing family support is a big deal and takes a lot of time and patience in regards to the importance of family in recovery. We are all the product of our own decisions, but having that aid and moral support along the way can make a gigantic difference in how they perceive themselves through the substance abuse. It’s safe to say that most all addicts and alcoholics didn’t wish to become one and end up being confused how they got to that point.
Addiction causes nothing but turmoil in most family dynamics. It’s hard to provide support to somebody who provides no rational resolution. Deep down inside, most persons dealing with substance abuse are aware of all the negativity in their lives but are just in denial about it. Usually they just do not want to deal with their chemical dependency or they are not sure how to. This is where family comes in to save the day. Kind of.
Family can’t stop addiction, but they can guide it. It kind of falls back on the “leading a horse to water” analogy. The family disease of addiction is one that is in need of support, in one way or another. Outside of a few recovery related norms, the importance of family in recovery involves most of the trials/tribulations that any regular family carries with them already anyway.