Jenny and I are getting ready for day two of our relapse prevention family workshop at Promises. We’ve been facilitating this workshop now for almost four years, and every time we’re amazed at how little impact the family believe it has over the addiction that is trying to literally kill their loved ones. Think about it, addiction combined with mental health issues is right up there with all the major killers in our country. It’s the only major killer for us where we minimize and downplay the severity of the problem. It’s the only life threatening problem that we as a people negotiate over when, where, and for how long we’ll medically deal with it. It’s amazing still to me after close to thirty years in the industry that patients with the problem don’t want to take the advice of the treatment professionals treating them. It’s the only huge problem where families go dark, and really don’t know what’s happening let alone know what they’re supposed to be doing.
Our family work has been dedicated to giving families a voice. We want the one in treatment to walk a mile in the family member’s shoes verses the other way around. We want to break the mindset of the one newly in recovery that it’s “our” recovery too, and not just “yours” for the one in treatment. We think it’s ok to be inter dependent, but not codependent or enmeshed. We want to help the one in recovery HATE the substances they once used because we know if they do they’ll never be inticed to use them again. If they only behavior modify their way through treatment and recovery they’ll probably relapse at the next difficult situation that arises in their life. We’re hoping for transformation to take place during our two day workshop to facilitate freedom. We no longer want to hear or be ok with “relapse is part of recovery” because it just gives those newly into recovery a free pass to use because it’s just the way it is. Hell No, it does not have to be the norm. Relapse can be abnormal after treatment if those entering recovery can hate alcohol, can hate drugs, can hate all dysfunction that separates us from the ones we profess to love.
Families, you have a voice, you have healthy influence, you have a deep love like no other, and all that utilized in healthy ways can have impact on your loved ones recovery. Families, YOU MATTER.