Families go through many ups and downs when there is a loved one who struggles with addiction, alcoholism and/or a co-occurring mental health disorder. Once the loved one decides to seek help through residential treatment, the family is left with a sudden hole in the home to try and repair. Unless the family takes action to heal themselves, the home environment and dynamic will not change.
Al-Anon was created in 1951 by the wife of Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. As Bill found great success in his recovery created by the twelve steps of AA, Anne, and many other wives, as well as family members of recovering alcoholics, found that they were still suffering. The plight of the family of the alcoholic or addict can be difficult waters to charter. Having spent so many years trying to help, offering advice, taking care when loved ones were sick, staying up worrying, it is hard to let old habits go. Despite a loved one’s success, you might find yourself more anxious than ever about them relapsing, because of what you might have to go through if they do. Al-Anon is a twelve step program similar to AA where the family members of people with alcoholism and addiction can receive support and find healing. There you can talk about your experiences, work a twelve step program, find a sponsor, and have the support of solidarity from others like you.
The term “codependent” wasn’t around when Al-Anon started. Spawning out of the treatment world, psychologists noticed that there was a certain sickness to the spouses and family members of recovering addicts and alcoholics. Codependency has become a popular label for not just the family members of those in recovery, but for anyone who feels that they lose themselves in relationships with others who are sick in some way. While some call codependency a progressive illness of its own similar to alcoholism, others call it a temporary problem. Either way, many people find support and relief through the twelve steps and program of CODA. Books like Codependent No More by Melody Beattie have sold millions of copies worldwide and offered people insight to their madness.
Family Support Groups
If you are not interested in working a twelve step program, you can find a local family support group. Some treatment centers provide family support groups on site, separate from loved ones in treatment. Support groups are typically led by a counselor or a therapist who can guide the group processing in a healthy way.
Family Therapy And Family Program
Addiction and alcoholism are mental health conditions which affect the entire family. When an addict or alcoholic decides to recover, the whole family should get a chance to recover. Aurora Recovery Centre offers family therapy and family programming as an opportunity for families to learn about the disease of addiction and how to support themselves, as well as their loved ones.
Work With A Therapist
Many family members feel it is unfair that their loved one gets to go to treatment when they feel they could use it themselves. Seeking work with a family counselor or therapist can help you in between meetings, support groups, and family therapy sessions with your loved one.
Aurora Recovery Centre provides dual diagnosis treatment, serving Canada with quality residential services. For more information, call 844-515-STOP.