The Family in Recovery

The Family in Recovery - Sober Living & Addiction Blog - Harmony Haus in Austin, TX - Screen_Shot_2021-08-01_at_6Active addiction severely strains our relationships with our loved ones. Addicts often engage in many behaviors that cause serious discord within families. We may lash out at others, or withdraw and cut off contact from loved ones. We may steal money from family members. Certainly, most addicts will lie about their addiction to their families. During active addiction, the addict may seem like a completely different person, and one that we do not want to associate with at all. When things finally go too far to be tolerated, families may simply cut off the addict, refusing to speak to them or support them until they make a commitment to get clean and/or enter treatment.  
 
When the addict finally does begin the journey toward sobriety, their relationship with their family is often in ruins. Trust has been lost, parents may be heartbroken, residual anger may linger at the addict’s behavior or words. The family may be terrified that the addict will die or will not get better, and that they will have to live with the pain of taking care of someone who is actively using substances forever. This mix of heartbreak, anger, and fear can linger for a very long time. Many say they will not trust that the addict is truly sober until they get a few years of continuous, healthy sobriety under their belt.
 
Families may spend vast sums of money for in-patient treatment, IOP, PHP, therapy, sober living, and other addiction recovery services, which can put a strain on the family finances and even lead to some degree of resentment toward the addict. And things can be even more difficult after a relapse that follows a period of sobriety--the family may think that the addict is simply “not trying hard enough” or “not being serious.” This can further fuel anger and resentment. 
 
Rebuilding from all of this is a tough, long-term process. Often, outside resources are necessary. A family therapist and/or work with a recovery program for family members of addicts (such as Al-Anon) can be invaluable. Family therapists especially can work with both the addict and their families on things like setting boundaries, communicating meaningfully and effectively, navigating issues fraught with emotion like finances and living situations, and understanding what exactly the journey toward sobriety entails. Other important concepts like enabling, shaming, family member roles, or excessive “helicoptering” by parents are also explored and addressed by family therapists. For those who are married, a therapist who focuses on marriage counseling is also helpful.
 
Obviously each family is unique and each recovery process is different--but there are some similarities. Attending a 12-step support group like Al-Anon can help you see that you are not alone and that many families and loved ones are going through similar struggles. Being involved in a social circle that supports and understands the difficulties of helping someone with addiction is a wonderful way to feel better and more hopeful. You will hear plenty of wonderful, encouraging success stories during an Al-Anon meeting, and receive guidance and wisdom from those who have gone before you. Other families may have a history of alcoholism or dysfunction, in which case the addict and the family might benefit from a group like CODA--Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Families. CODA can help you learn to love yourself and others in a forgiving, courageous way that reduces codependency, anxiety, anger, and other destructive emotions that often arise during family conflicts (especially when the conflicts stem from addiction). 
 
The bottom line is that family relationships are deeply affected by a loved one’s battle with addiction. Addicts who are actively using can behave horribly, and can break the hearts of loved ones in the process. And family members may not act appropriately with regards to the needs of the recovering addict, usually out of anger or fear. Therapy and 12-step programs can go a long way to helping rebuild family dynamics. And there is lots of hope--there is a wealth of experience and evidence that shows that recovered addicts and their families go on to live joyous, loving lives together!

Dealing with a Relapse

Addiction is partly defined as a “chronic and relapsing disease.” In this way, similar to an ailment like diabetes, it takes daily work and lifelong commitment to manage addiction and remain abstinent. The idea is that addiction can be...

Why Are We Sober?

Things change and shift as we journey through sobriety. Our goals, emotions, thoughts, philosophies, and spiritual approaches all change. Our daily lives change. And so, then, it is only natural that our attitudes toward recovery and our personal...

Learning about Refuge Recovery

Another way that many people in sobriety engage with the process of recovering emotionally, mentally, and spiritually is participation in Refuge Recovery. Refuge Recovery is an abstinence-based, and Buddhism and mindfulness-based recovery program...

What is SMART Recovery?

There are many different paths that people take to recovery from addiction, as we have discussed before in this blog. For many, AA is a great fit. Others explore other options, all of which seem to be equally effective and which provide the...

The Sober Life in Austin, TX

One of the best things about getting sober is having the energy, peacefulness, optimism, and joy in your life that makes you want to finally get out and do things! No longer do we have to deal with hangovers, lethargy, guilt, and sadness that so...

What does self-care look like in sobriety?

During active addiction, many of us used substances to boost our mood, boost our energy, deal with negative life events, socialize, relax, and “take the edge off” our daily lives. In the modern world, with all of its fast-paced, hectic...

Dealing with cross-addictions

After the long, hard, incredibly rewarding journey of achieving sobriety, it can be tough to realize that there are still parts of us that behave addictively--albeit, not toward our drugs of choice. These lingering addictive behaviors usually...

The Addicted Brain

Addiction medicine is still a burgeoning field, but it has made great strides in recent decades. Researchers and doctors understand now that there is a large genetic component to addiction, and that addictive chemicals act in certain areas of the...

Staying Busy in Recovery

There are many drug addiction recovery homes in Austin, Texas. The city is a great place to get sober and to find a new, exciting, joyful life. The best recovery homes make sure to keep their residents accountable and encourage them to stay busy as...

Finding a Sponsor and Sponsees in AA

Many recovering addicts choose to attend AA meetings as part of their overall recovery program. There are many AA meetings in Austin, TX, where Harmony Haus Sober Living is located, and they are full of wonderful people who can support you and help...

Learning Acceptance

Attending drug rehab, such as in the many top-tier drug rehabilitation centers in the Austin, TX area, can be a scary and life-changing event. Going to rehab can be very disruptive; many have to put their jobs on hold or not see their families for...

Collecting chips and counting sober time

One of the traditions in AA is collecting chips to commemorate milestones of sobriety time. The usual procession of chips is a 24-hour “desire” (to stay sober for the next day) chip, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year,...

The Benefits of Having a Sober Coach

In AA, one of the important traditions is for “sponsors” (members with lengthy sobriety and experience in the AA program) to take “sponsees” (newcomers) under their wing and help them through the Twelve Steps and offer them...

Alcohol Use Increased During Covid-19

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open in September of 2020 discussed how alcohol consumption among Americans (and particularly women) has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study hypothesized that more people may be turning to...

Building Your Best Life

Harmony Haus is a recovery home in Austin that believes that one of the best ways to be sober is to create a life for yourself that is, quite simply, more fun, more rewarding, more full of love, more peaceful, and all around more joyful than the...

Pets and Sobriety

When getting sober, it is important to have as many supportive people around you as possible. And having support around you can also come in the form of a pet! Many people, especially those who live alone, find that having pets can alleviate some of...

Dealing with Guilt and Shame

When we enter recovery from addiction, and even after we have been sober for a while, it is common to look back on the past with feelings of remorse, sadness, guilt, and shame. It’s easy to do, as our time of abusing substances--especially...

Overcoming “sober slumps”

During the best times of our sober journey, we are full of passion and excitement for our new life, and filled with gratitude that we have managed to leave the darkness of our past behind us. We support each other, attend meetings, work with...
Page: 123 - All
Our Mission:
Provide leadership in Austin’s transitional sober living recovery residence industry through professionalism, integrity & attention-to-detail; fostering recovery communities conducive to members adding color + vibrancy back in their life, achieving long-term sobriety & life goals.
Our Vision:
Set the platinum standard for integrative transitional sober living recovery residences, with focus on providing inspiring environments, amenities, and services.