You Were Never Alone: Recognizing Your Family Didn’t Go to Rehab with You

Let’s face it; drug and alcohol recovery is not an easy process. It is one of the most difficult things you have ever done in your life. You feel the strength of being clean coursing through your body. You see the changes in your life. But, without family support, you feel the fight has been significantly harder. At times, you have felt lost, alone, and completely overwhelmed and the one set of people who should have supported you and been there for you, were not. It is easy for those feelings of abandonment to turn to resentment.

At moments like this it is important to turn your focus from anger and irritation to acceptance and understanding. You do not have to agree with your family’s choices. In fact, in most cases you probably do not and will not. However, you also have to recognize they have probably not agreed with many of your choices as well. True recovery and healing is an introspective commitment. In order to stay clean, you have to take a deep, hard look at your own life and identify not only the triggers which led to your addiction but the consequences of your addiction. Acknowledge that your addiction did not just have an impact on your life; it was a huge force in your family’s life as well. Promises were broken; trust was lost. Your family may have been terrified at the life your addiction created, for them and you. Whatever the case, seek to understand their concerns instead of simply being angry at them.

Forgiveness is Crucial

God’s grace and love is unconditional; however, He requires us to strive to live a Holy life and forgiveness is a part of that. You do not forgive when someone asks for it; you do not forgive when you feel they are sorry enough. You forgive because God forgives you. Now, with this forgiveness does not come an automatic forgetting. It will take time to repair the damage your addiction has caused your family and it will take time to rebuild the bridge your family’s lack of support created for you. That is okay. Instead of expecting them to see the changed person you have become, show them. And when you need support, and you definitely will, rely on the community you have built around you…your church, your support group, your collection of friends and confidantes.

And when the isolation from your family is overwhelming, when you feel the pressure of it closing in around you, it is essential to remember that you are never truly alone. God has been with you every step along the way of your recovery and He will continue to be. He has always been faithful. The glorious reality of your relationship with Him is His promise to never forsake you. When friends and family turn their back on you or abandon you when you need them most, God never will.

Recovery is a slow process. It will be painful and it will be healing. Staying sober is the most important thing right now. Just remember you have chosen solid ground. If you are willing and honest in your prayers with God, He will never turn away from you and you will never be alone.