Family members of loved ones with alcoholism often carry resentments which run far and deep. One of the primary areas of contention is related to feelings of discomfort which arise when drinking around the person in recovery. The family may feel left in a quandry as to what to do to help stop a loved one’s drinking behaviour.
Moving Past Resentment
The answer to letting go of resentment lies on honest, open communication with the entire family. Any unspoken problems or issues must be dealt with to move forward. Many families struggle with communication issues and find that sweeping things under the rug is desirable but not the easiest thing to accomplish.
Importance of Communication
Discussions focused around one family member’s addiction may be the most effective vehicle for addressing past or current family conflict. Most people deal with fundamental problems until crises happens. Addiction is so powerful it may impact every person in the family.
Recovering from addiction is difficult and takes time to heal. Recovery is sustained by many times of activities, including:
- Daily examination of one’s environment
- Identifying and removing triggers to use drugs or alcohol
- Addressing personal faults
- Pursuing goals
- Actively seeking positive people to support a drug-free lifestyle
The person in recovery has to work through feelings which come from an honest, open examination of life. This pro-active approach takes intentionality and helps in the therapeutic process.
Building Healthy Communication
Drinking within a family can bring up many issues between family members. Feelings of jealousy have been part of a family dynamic for some time and while this is difficult for a person recovering from addiction to hear, it is necessary for coping with what comes next.
This is a new opportunity to take recovery to the next level. Instead of getting defensive and shutting down, it requires focus on positive “I” statements and feeling words which help promote reasonable communication exchanges.
Family work is hard and puts increased stress on people. It is also an opportunity for improved communication by discovering the hidden forces which distort and confuse people. The family members of loved ones with addiction can take advantage of a bad situation to make it better by promoting positive communication skills, hope and peaceful resolution to difficult dynamics.
Castle Craig works with individuals from all walks of life. We want to help you move forward as an individual and as a family. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, we are here to help you with our personalised programmes and individual and group therapeutic processes. Call us at 0808 231 9583 to find out more information.
Page published: September 22, 2017. Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked January 22, 2020