Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Denial is a key characteristic of addiction, and coming to terms with your addiction is not an easy task. One of the most difficult aspects is speaking to your family about your addiction. Having a strategy in place at Midwest Recovery, such as our family therapy program, can make the process easier.
Preparing to Tell Your Family
Sometimes conversations seem to happen. Something that’s on your mind comes up, and you know it’s a perfect time. However, if you are waiting for the perfect time to talk about your addiction, it isn’t likely to come. It’s easy to keep waiting for the right moment and lose weeks, months, or years continuing your addiction because you never found the words to ask for help.
Who should you tell and why? This is a personal choice. It’s nearly impossible to seek treatment without letting your closest family members know what you are doing. They can also provide the support that you will need during your recovery. However, who you tell outside of your immediate circle is up to you. You may want to make a list of who you want to speak with personally and decide if you are comfortable with your addiction to being common knowledge.
Deciding How to Tell Your Family
You may find it easier to prepare words to share with your loved ones, or you may prefer to speak from your heart at the moment. If you are afraid that you can’t say what you feel you need to say, write a letter and allow them to read it in front of you. This is a way to get the conversation going and provide them with an opportunity to speak after reading your words. If you can’t be together in person, consider a video chat.
What to Say About Your Addiction
The key when having this conversation is to be completely honest. Be prepared for hard questions, and answer them as honestly as possible. Own up to the things you did that were wrong when you were in active addiction. Explain your struggle and your attempts to stop on your own.
Make it clear that you are willing to seek help and ask for their help and support. If you have already chosen an addiction treatment program, let them know. If you haven’t, ask them to help you as you choose a treatment center. Explain that you plan to address your issues with addiction therapy.
Be Prepared For Different Reactions
As much as it feels like you are spilling a big secret, those close to you probably already know about your addiction. They may not know the details, but they almost always have some idea that you have a substance use problem.
They may be acceptable when you tell them, already having come to terms with your addiction. They may be angry or upset, even if they already knew. In some situations, there’s a world of difference between suspecting something and finding out that it’s true so that it can have quite an impact. Even if they are upset at first, they will likely be supportive once they’ve had some time to process the information.
Ask Them to Attend Family Therapy
Family therapy is an important part of addiction treatment. No family is perfect, and addiction puts a strain on everyone involved. There are usually dysfunctions in familial relationships that contribute to the addiction. Family therapy helps to reframe the family dynamics and repair strained relationships. It also allows your loved ones to understand your addiction and what they can do to support your recovery.
Family therapy has five elements. These are:
- family engagement
- reframing relationships
- changing family dynamics
- family restructuring
Addiction Treatment at Midwest Recovery Center
At Midwest Recovery Center in Toledo, Ohio, we tailor our addiction treatment program to each client. Treatment often includes individual addiction therapy, family therapy, and addiction education. Recovery is challenging, but you are not alone. Contact us today at 833.627.0039, or contact us online and take the first step to recovery.