Addiction’s impact extends far beyond the immediate impacts to your life and health. Even though you’re the one who’s struggling with alcoholism, or an addiction to drugs, the people around you are heavily affected by these actions and your choices. A large majority of people who struggle with addiction find that their families members often struggle with any of the same issues, including depression, anxiety and more. These issues, along with other problems that commonly accompany addiction like financial, legal and work difficulties, can cause serious damage to your long term relationships with your friends, family and coworkers alike. Many of these problems can make life extremely difficult for them, and all of this commonly leads to resentment, bitterness and fractured families. When you leave treatment, you’re often eager to start mending fences and rebuilding those relationships, but in some cases, the family members, even if they supported you throughout treatment, may have difficulty letting go of what happened before treatment, even years after the fact.
As much as we wish otherwise, you can’t force someone to let go of something when they’re not ready, and attempting to do so will likely only cause further damage to your relationship with that person. Instead, sit down with your loved one and talk to them openly; tell them point blank that you’re trying to move forward with your sober life, and that you’re wanting to make amends over whatever it is that they’re holding bitterly onto. If they’re willing to talk it through with you, then great. If not, that’s their burden to bear. How do you let go of this?
You love yourself, and them, enough to just drop it. Don’t continually push them for their forgiveness, and instead focus your efforts on living a honest, sober life that leaves room for healing, not more resentment and anger. Make an effort every day to truly change the way you live and really leave the past behind you. By showing that you’re actually making the effort and changes, over time, your family members may find themselves able to let go of some of their own feelings. Don’t allow them to constantly bring up past mistakes to use against you, and if it continues, you may consider reducing your contact with this loved one until you’re both in a position to communicate better.
Learning to let go, even when family may be holding on to past mistakes, is extremely important, but making sure your family has the support they need while you’re going through treatment can help alleviate some of these issues before they start. The Springboard Center has both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs, and they also offer family support programs to help your family members through it. Don’t wait another day, call today if you have an addiction and get help before it’s too late: 432-620-0255.