When you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol it can feel like your family is the most judgemental and unsupportive bunch of people you know. But if your family has historically been supportive and loving, outside of your struggles with chemical dependency, it is likely that your alcohol or drug abuse made them scared for your wellbeing or even afraid that they may lose you, and that they reacted out of fear, instead of realizing the further damage that can cause.

Maybe they didn’t react well to such a sensitive situation, you may even feel like they reacted in a way that made it more difficult to get the help you needed and eventually found through Discovery Institute drug rehab centers in NJ. But try to remember to be compassionate and forgiving. Think about how scary it can be to be told one of the people you love most has a possibly terminal addiction. The number of deaths related to overdose continues to rise in the western world, and it is virtually impossible to get through a news cycle without hearing about the addiction epidemic that is plaguing our society.

Perhaps they didn’t respond to your addiction with grace. Maybe they even hurt you as they thought they were helping you, expressing disapproval harshly, even stepping back from a relationship with you. But as long as there wasn’t abuse involved, consider going back to your family and trying rebuilding those relationships. You don’t have to, nor should you suffer emotional abuse or any other kind of mistreatment in order to find what looks like peace with your family. But if the mistrust between you was caused by the complications of drug and alcohol abuse, it’s worth it to reach out to them.

How To Quiet Fears of Judgement and Disappointment

Discovery InstituteIf you have a safe and loving family, making yourself take the time to spend with them can foster healing and resilience. A loving and supportive family can be just the support network you need to succeed at sober living, but trusting anyone after you go through the raw experience of attending a drug rehab center in NJ or a New Jersey detox, can feel impossible. You might have a hard time conceiving of your family not reacting to you in more judgement or maybe even worse, showing the same severe disappointment in who you are today, even after you’ve been through treatment. The best way to quiet these fears is to genuinely take a look at the past, and talk with them about the future.

Sober Living In The Now and Looking Honestly Toward the Future

It’s true that when you go back to meet your family after drug and alcohol recovery treatment they may be nervous and seem kind of cagey. Maybe they won’t, but because addiction is so pervasive and dangerous, they may be a little bit gun shy. Try to be patient. You’re the addiction expert.

You went through treatment and have come out on the other side with a better understanding of who you are, how you came to rely on substances, and you have a plan for sober living moving forward. The best way to start out on the right foot with your family is to talk about this with them. Tell them about treatment. Share with them and be vulnerable. When you were still using, you may have started lying or hiding things from them. Show them you are ready to be honest and that you are taking responsibility for living a healthy and sober life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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