5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Sober Without a Family Addiction Program

5 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Sober Without a Family Addiction Program

My 5 Siblings Give The 5 Reasons You Need a Family Addiction Program

If someone tries to tell you that addiction is not a family disease, they’ve never known anyone who was addicted to drugs or alcohol. From my 15 plus years of experience living in and working in the field of addiction, I can attest first-hand how the disease infects the entire family. It changes the way each member of the family thinks, acts, feels and in many cases causes family members physical harm. During my addiction, I witnessed the effects that my alcoholism and drug dependency had on my 5 brothers and sisters and on my parents. In my past drug rehabs, one or two of the members of my family attended a “so-called” family weekend. It didn’t help much, but when each member of my family took part in a family addiction program – everything changed. I got better and they got better.

So, I thought it was fitting to have them tell you the 5 reasons you can’t stay sober without a family addiction program. I called my 5 brothers and sisters and asked them to write a little about why they felt the family program they attended helped so much. This is the real deal ladies and gentlemen. Not some pre-fabricated, generic addiction jargon written for the purpose of getting you on a website. These are actual testimonials from family members who have suffered through addiction and witnessed recovery. If you wanted to survive an atomic blast, you talk to a person who survived Hiroshima – my family survived my atomic bomb of addiction, and here they are.

At Our Family Program I Wanted My Bother To Know We Support Him

#5 Family Support: Teddy.

I’m Teddy, I’m 29 years old and I live in Boston. With a name like Teddy, I bet you were expecting someone younger huh? I was pretty young when my bother was using drugs. I remember he would come in my room in the middle of the night and not know where he was. For a 12-year old it was very scary. At age 22 we all went down to be part of the family addiction program and my reason for being there was simple. I wanted to support my brother. I had learned early on that addiction was a disease and thought to my self, if my brother had cancer I would be by his side and this wasn’t different.

Now, a person was cancer doesn’t steal your first communion money and pee on your CD player, but still, he needed our support. I always looked up to my brother I told him that while we were in family group. It seemed to help, at the time his self-esteem was shot and I knew if I could get the words out without crying maybe it would help remind him of the great brother he used to be. So yeah, the number 5 reason why you can’t stay sober without a family addiction program is that we’re family – we need each other’s support to survive… everything.

Learning To Detach With Love Saved My Relationship With My Brother

#4 Learning To Detach With Love: Molly

My name is Molly, I’m 20 and I live in Maryland. Since I was born my brother had been in and out of rehabs and I was sick of it. I was only 13 at the time when we went to the family addiction program and when I got there I realized I needed help too. Even though I had never done drugs or alcohol, I needed help – with my anger. I knew he had a disease but I was just so mad at him. He was a great brother somewhere deep inside and I just wanted that to come out! At our family addiction program, I finally heard something that made sense to me. The idea of detaching with love.

I learned that detaching with love is really the difference between helping and enabling. I had never given brother like a single penny so I thought that I wasn’t enabling. Turns out I was. Every time he called me crying and complaining about his life I listened and supported him, duh like any sister would—turns out that was enabling because he should be talking to his AA sponsor or support group. Detaching with love would have been me saying “I love you but if you are not following a program of recovery I can’t talk to you right now.” Once I learned that things started to get better. My older brother started to actually act like an older brother and it seemed like maybe my resistance to speak with him unless he was taking care of himself helped. Detaching with love may not have saved my brother but it definitely saved me.

Family Drug Therapy Says The Family Is Sick Too

#3 Family Members Need Help Also: Meaghan

My name is Meaghan I am 34 and pregnant, so if this is short it’s because I had to go eat something or I fell asleep. Oh my god, that family addiction program we went to for my brother was brutal at first. I was like, he has a problem not me, uh why am I here? Then started saying, “@The family is the patient and the patient is the family. That hit home. As my brother’s addiction got worse and worse so did our family. I got incredibly angry, so did my Mom and the family just fell apart. Even one of my brothers started to develop a drinking problem and he had never shown signs before. I couldn’t believe it but during our family drug therapy, I could plainly see that, uh yeah… addiction is contagious.

After I got back on the plane to Pittsburgh I started going to Alanon meetings and seeing a therapist and not once did we talk about my brother. I needed to change my own thinking and my own behavior. Just because my brother was sick it didn’t me it gave me license to act out with weed or treat others like crap. In my opinion, a family who is not in recovery is a family that will never recover. If my brother got sober but no one else got help, he wouldn’t be able to stay sober. Today I can honestly say that yeah, we’re all doing great! I hope this helped, gotta pee, what else is new!

Family Members Relapse Too!

#2 A Family Member Can Relapse: Daniel

Thanks Meaghan,
My name is Daniel I’m 23 and what I’m gonna talk about is a family relapse. It looks a lot different from a relapse on drugs or alcohol. When my brother relapsed he crashed his car and almost died, when my Mom relapsed, she set in motion my brother crashing his car. See, we learned in the family drug program that relapse for us would be doing anything that made it easier for my brother to get high or anything that took him away from recovery. This showed up on a day that will forever live on in our family’s story. The day my mom bought my brother’s new underwear.

On St. Patrick’s Day my mom gave my brother shamrock boxer shorts while he was in rehab. The staff made him give them back saying it was a relapse for my Mom. She couldn’t see why and neither could I. They explained that those $4.99 underpants were $4.99 he could now spend on drugs or alcohol and that they sent a message that my brother could still rely on us for financial support. This made sense. In the past, my brother would spend his money any way he wanted and never worried about the consequences because someone would always bail him out. These boxer shorts were a sign that he could count on them to pull him back up. If any of us gave him money or bailed him out of a tough situation we were denying him his bottom and we relapsed and we put him closer to death. He’s been sober no for 6 ½ years and that is proof none of us have relapsed. Thanks and have a great day.

Family Addiction Programs Tell Us What To Look For

#1 Know What Relapse Signs To Look For: Annie

Hi, my name is Annie and I am just 8 years old. My brother asked me to talks a bit about things we were told to look for when I was just a little girl. I remember my mom sayin’ “if ya see you brother wit my purse please tell me.” I member thinking, boys don’t wear purses? Oh and also she said not to give him money. I had lots of monies in my piggy bank and I wanted him to have some cuz he needed it, but Mom said that could make him sick and he’d go back to the doctors for a month. I den one time saw him wearin’ the same clothes a lot so I told mom cuz I just fink that was weird and she said I did a good job. Hope dis was what ya were looking for. I love my brother and am so happy he is not sick anymore.


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