Addiction’s Affect On The Family
Knowing the ways in which addiction can lay claim to families as whole units, and the individual relationships within, can be an eyeopener to others you may mentor in the future.
Addiction has most certainly played its hand at nudging your relationships toward a point of ruin. This can be seen in varying forms and can be heard in the words delivered to you in times of deep and overwhelming struggle. Through these struggles and hardships, you can see the shift that occurs and though it is hard at times for you to see through the veil of addiction that covers your eyes, you know very well that your life is not what it once was and that much love and trust has been broken.
Though your life may be on a better track today, you can still think back to those times of grief. And it is in those times that your mind should remain to some extent, while you focus on the future. Knowing the ways in which addiction can lay claim to families as whole units, and the individual relationships within, can be an eyeopener to others you may mentor in the future. And now, being able to see through clearer eyes what happened when you were addiction’s puppet, you can now be sure of what you would never want to repeat in the future.
Take a moment to look back at what your life was when addiction had its grip on you…
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The room sways and shifts before you as you sit at the table and pretend you hear every bit of conversation meant for your ears. Food is passed your way and you struggle to choke any of it down—though you know you’d love to—as your stomach quakes with its usual sickness. Instead, you shift each food around your plate in an effort to mime its consumption. This is the YOU who makes believe that you are able to function. This is the you who lies to himself as well as his family. Who you are in this moment is someone who thinks they can get away with using drugs and that his family isn’t the wiser. This YOU doesn’t understand that his use of drugs is plain to every eye, that the conversation at the dinner table is exceedingly awkward, and that every single person sitting around you sees how little you eat at every meal.
Addiction has claimed your idea of reality. This is why you are still able to lie and deceive. And this is what your family is well aware of; lack of trust is among the many other aspects of your addiction that has made an impact on your family.
Looking back from today, you’ll remember all the times that your family members felt out of touch with you. You may remember when you had to borrow money for rent and they thought it was for drugs, so they gave it to you reluctantly. It may come to mind that there were many family events that took place that you never showed up for. You may also remember what you were like when you did show up.
Addiction took a toll on who you were as a person, which made it very hard for your family members to trust you. This lack of trust affects relationships with spouses, children, parents, and siblings. It affects distant family members and even younger ones who may have once looked up to you.
The pull that your dependence had on you took you to places you never wanted to go; sneaking off in the night or coming home late from work, pawning your own or others’ valuables, missing important days, and getting tied up in legal troubles that leave you continuously letting the family down. The lack of trust that develops within a family that is affected by addiction soon turns into new hardships.
With trust depleted, you’ll remember how life within the family became abnormal and unnatural. Anger and sadness often highlighted family gatherings or average nights at home. All the nuances and traditions seem forced and sad as your family sees that they’re missing the real you. Weeks and months and years fly past in your mind, which the family around you sees and feels in every moment of your addiction.
To you, normalcy is muted. What you hear and see is through the mind of someone whose brain has been altered by drugs. Today you can imagine what it would’ve looked like though their eyes and in their mind. As all of everyday moments were sullied by how high you were, so too was Christmas and your mother’s birthday. The moments that families share happiness and joy in were emptied, in those days, of all that kept them pure and uplifting.
As you’ve seen in yourself and can remember from your past, drug addiction has its ways within a family when respect is lost. Just as trust fades away and is quite difficult to get back, the respect your loved ones had for you, was often laid to waste as your life deteriorated. At times, it may come to your mind again all of the ways in which you let your responsibilities go. Your primary focus and that which you put so much time and effort into, was your drug addiction.
The struggle you’ve had with this addiction led you down paths that took you from those which you should have stuck to. You may have lost a job, wrecked a car, or had the custody of your children taken from you. Furthermore, you may have let simple obligations go by the wayside, letting people look at you more than a child than an adult.
In a life of recovery, you may be able to see the misfortune that came into your life as you made bad choices and settled for less, at the cost of your relationships. The less for which you had settled then was less pride, less honor, less reliability. Your family had all but given up on the idea of you not only ridding your life of drugs, but getting yourself back to a life that was admirable; one worth living.
Through everything that has happened in your life, you know that the former you—the one your family couldn’t depend on or trust—is on a better track and is earning back his stars and stripes. Remember that some things take longer than others to mend. You may have earned back some respect, but your wife or kids may need longer to feel safety once again. For as long as you were under the rigid influence of drug abuse, your family members couldn’t see a future with the real you in it. That image needs to be repainted for them, just as you’re repainting your own life.
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Take heed in knowing that your life is on the incline now. It is your job to be sure that the various aspects of your family that were destroyed by your addiction, are now on the incline as well. For any further help you may need in keeping your life and your family life together, contact RehabCenter.net. We are here to ensure that you are successful in your recovery and that your life—family and all—comes back together again.
View Infographic – Addiction’s Effect The Family