What crisis brought you to recovery?
My only child admitted to me she had an addiction. It was only weeks later I realized it was an actual crisis.
Had you ever heard of a Family Recovery Programs like Al-anon or Nar-anon before this crisis?
I had heard about Al-Anon because of a past relationship but had never heard of Nar-Anon until my adult child entered a treatment program.
What have you learned about the importance of family member recovery?
If the addict doesn’t choose recovery the rest of the family still needs the tools to help themselves. If the addict does choose recovery, I think it’s important the family understands what life will look like and know how to be supportive while still taking care of themselves.
Does the recovery program that you are a member of have online meetings to accommodate during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Yes, and some hybrid meetings as well once facilities started to open up.
Did you have any reluctance in accepting your need for your personal recovery?
Surprisingly I did not. I was so desperate to feel better I jumped in with both feet. I have heard other family members say “why do I need a recovery program? I’m not the one with the problem.” I didn’t have an addiction problem, but I needed relief from how sad and angry I felt.
What would you tell family members who are considering their own recovery?
Please give a recovery program a try. Only you can decide if it’s right for you.
Have you experienced any stigma surrounding addiction and recovery?
I did early on in the addict’s recovery. I was reluctant to share anything about my child’s life because my coworkers were telling all these stories about what their kids were doing, and I didn’t have anything I felt comfortable sharing because I had heard them bashing people they didn’t even know who had a problem with addition. Many people still feel addiction is a moral issue because they don’t understand it’s a disease.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Not everyone finds recovery through a 12-step program, but it has helped me in ways I never knew I needed.