Raising a family, and staying happy and healthy in general, can be a struggle on a good day. But when you add in an addiction, or any kind, it can make life much more difficult. Addiction is never just hard for the person with the problem, it also affects their family, their friends, and can even affect their work.
While job loss due to addiction, and even the loss of friendships, can all be overcome once you are clean, it can be more difficult to fix those family ties. You can get a new job, and you can make new friends, but you can’t undo the harm addiction has caused your family. They may be able to forgive, but will they ever be able to forget?
Learning To Live With An Addict
There are many things you need to remember if you are living with an addict. For one, an addict is always an addict no matter how long they have been clean. Think of them when you bring things into the house that could cause them to panic or fall off the wagon. This will depend on what they were addicted to.
As a family member, and someone that cares, one step you can take that will make a huge impact on the life of the addict you share your home with is if you also adopt the sober lifestyle. Keep junk food off the menu if you live with a food addict, or alcohol off the menu if you live with an alcoholic.
Help Your Children Understand
Addicts sometimes do frightening and scary things, and those things can often leave permanent scars on the minds of children of any age. You can help the kids in your life understand more about addiction, and hopefully help keep them from following in your path (or the path of the addicted person in your home).
Find a recovery program that has family meetings. If your entire family seeks therapy it can help everyone, even the little ones, understand more about addiction. It helps to hear from a professional that addiction is a mental issue. It also shows your family member that you support them in their recovery.
Take Some Time Away If Needed
Especially with little ones, it may be wise to send your children to grandma’s house for a week or so while the family member in recovery works to get back on their feet. The added stress of having the kids at home, especially if they are unable to sit and be quiet, can raise the risk of relapse.
Maybe the one in recovery needs some time away from home. However, make sure they don’t go it alone and have a trusted friend or family member with you. One thing that a person really needs in recovery is a family, and some friends, that support them.
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