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Families Making Changes = Changing a Loved One

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

How Our Family Recovery Work Helped Our Son

We made a commitment.

In the picture, you see my son sitting on a mountain outside of Boulder, Colorado.

I look at this picture and it seems so symbolic of where we’ve been and where we are now. Early on, my husband and I made a commitment to seek family recovery by reading books, attending family education programs, seeing a therapist together and attending a support group. We were not always on the "same page" so we knew that we needed to work with a therapist that could help us navigate this journey TOGETHER. We basically created our own support team. Our son saw us doing this and working on our own path. It showed him that we felt that it was important and he noticed the difference it made in us as individuals and as a family.

So, how did our recovery work help our son? This is what he told me recently:

  • It taught my parents how to be supportive, yet set appropriate boundaries

  • It allowed us to have an open line of communication because they now have a better understanding that “the loved one doesn't heal overnight”.

  • Therapy and support groups allowed them to vent with other parents about the struggles of the recovery process

  • I believe that each of us having our own therapist allowed us to be transparent so we could individually work on our issues, because at the end of the day you are the one that has to get through each day mentally.

  • There is not a book that gives you the perfect way to deal with every child, but going to support groups and meetings with a therapist gave my parents the ability to learn that they were not alone, and gave them a support team.

  • I knew my parents were always by my side (even when they didn’t probably want to be). I pushed them away multiple times, but at the end of the day I always knew if I really needed something they would be there for me. This really helped when I finally got tired of feeling empty and ready to restart my life!

  • Knowing that my family was getting their own help, comforted me in the sense that I was able to focus on myself, without the worry of messing up my parents' marriage or furthering the damage to our relationship. It was important to see that they were spending the time to work on themselves.

It was helpful for him to see us working on our own issues and wellbeing so that he could focus on himself and not worry about how he was impacting our life. As a result of our hard work, we learned how to set appropriate boundaries and to be better communicators with everyone in our family. It had a positive impact on all of us. Our son felt supported and not controlled. We began to let go with loving support so that he could grow.

Managing expectations and being realistic has been another growth opportunity for my husband and me. Without our support team and the education that we have had along the way, I'm not sure that my family would be where we are today. I honestly feel that we are stronger and closer than ever.

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