Recovering Self (boundaries for families)

Still in a fog from years of self-abuse and addictions to alcohol and drugs, a newcomer cannot see hours ahead, let alone planning all of the daily activities they must eventually return to. They include: finding a job, looking for a place to live, recovery meetings that are a must, and perhaps doing for others…this is the hardest to see for them. So many of their friends and family feel that now, the wayward family member is in recovery, they are in a program so everything is normal again. Not so. This early part of staying clean and sober is where they need the most help…even more so than when they were actively using.
Here’s where so many quit and get right back in the dung heap they just escaped from. Someone very close to me has been dealing with this issue for quite some time. They were the go-to family member, no matter what the problem in the family was, until an injury, then prescribed medicine, and suddenly the prescribing MD yanked the medication away, and the result: pain meds were bought off of the street until they were no longer affordable. Heroin was cheaper, that’s where my friend found the pain relief and the feeding of the addiction.
Fix you for me please!
Of course, the family wanted them clean again to help them with their problems. Within a few weeks of recovery meetings they asked, “do you have to go to a meeting again tonight?” That makes me want to cry and laugh hysterically at the same time. The truth is that the family needs rehab for their self-centeredness. They don’t do this out of not caring for the one that I speak of, they want their “fix” administrated by the only family member who can fix them, they think. Ego-centric.
The addict and the alcoholic have this one thing in common, finding themselves and their purpose renewed. They both feel meaningless and do for some time after sobering up. Though some snap out of it fairly quick, some take years.
The Big New Fix
The fix isn’t made by a week of recovery, or 28 days in rehab. Time, listening, and prayer, lots of prayer, that is the direction of finding yourself. It is better, no matter the situation, that you stay away from family if necessary to discover yourself again. They will not like this at all. They will act like little babies, and say they wash their hands of you again. You may be tempted to cave, and take care of their problem, but it is better if you allow yourself to heal and bring real help to them in time…boundaries. You can very easily become the go to person for them again, in a very different way. You can set boundaries that you will take them so far, they must complete actions to solve their own problems.
The flip side of that is that if you do not set those boundaries, they will never get better. You will be helping them lifelong, like my friend. You see, to find yourself and your purpose, may only happen as you allow them to do the same without your help. It is a tough decision. You can rediscover yourself and purpose once clean and sober, but you must realize that recovery has to come first, and sometimes those that you love can be the biggest hang-up to your recovery.
Yeah, this is true, but the kids have practice, I have to help my spouse out with this and I really want to see them practice, you say. I admire people that want involvement in their children’s activities. But if you do not get the help you need, you may end up where you were before, addicted and hopeless…again.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all.

2 thoughts on “Recovering Self (boundaries for families)

  1. Thank you for helping us see this from both sides, so we can give our loved one, or ourselves, the chance to recover, the time needed. There is a lot of selfishness to deal with it seems! argh! God bless you and lead you on!

    • Thanks Debbie, I see this so often. I didn’t say anything in this post but the number 1 reason family want their loved one out of recovery meetings is they are embarrassed that someone in their family has a problem…God bless you!

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