The choice to pursue a healthy, sober lifestyle is a profound one. However, it also comes with a number of hurdles along the way. For some, one of these hurdles can come in the form of their own friends and family if they do not understand or support one’s decision to maintain a sober lifestyle. While unfortunate, there are ways to address the situation while still prioritizing and affirming one’s sober choice.
Learning to communicate the delicate nuances of addiction recovery and sobriety can open new doors to understanding and support and continuing to prioritize one’s sobriety, although misunderstandings from friends and family are a true testament to one’s dedication to their own healthy future.
Why Is There a Barrier in Support?
Realizing that there is a barrier between oneself and their loved ones can be a difficult discovery, especially when it comes to recovery and support. However, it may be necessary to first understand why such a barrier exists in the first place. There can be two major reasons why loved ones may not understand one’s sober choice: either they do not understand the nature of addiction and recovery, or they are unwilling to listen or make changes to their own lifestyle.
Those who simply do not understand the complex and delicate nature of addiction can still become valued supports. Nothing about addiction is easy to comprehend, and it can be especially difficult for those who have not suffered from the disease to truly grasp the effect it can have on one’s life. Lack of education on the subject can be a major hurdle to understanding and taking time to have conversations or attend a family program together to better understand addiction can help break down these barriers and build a new level of understanding and support.
However, those who seem unwilling to make changes in their own lives or consider new perspectives can be more difficult to communicate with. While unfortunate, it may be better to distance oneself from these situations rather than try to force support out of an individual who doesn’t seem willing to understand the difficulties of addiction and recovery.
Find an Understanding Support Group
Addiction recovery is complicated, and there are several support groups outside of one’s immediate family that are available to those who need an understanding ear and a feeling of kinship. Recovery can provide the unique opportunity to build a new familial unit. There doesn’t need to be a biological component to create a new supportive and loving group of people. If one’s traditional family doesn’t understand or support one’s sobriety, looking to support groups, outpatient therapy programs, or finding online sober communities can help build a new support circle that understands the unique trials and weight of accomplishments throughout the recovery process.
Understanding Takes Time
There can be a fine line between those who are unsupportive and those who may simply not know the appropriate way to support one’s decision to be sober. Taking time to talk about the situation, the reasons behind one’s sober choice, and one’s goals can all help shed some light on the situation. However, reaching an understanding requires dialogue, and it can take some time to truly convey the complex nature of addiction and recovery.
Reaching these understandings and formulating effective means of support takes time, and dismissing potential supports because of a lack of inherent understanding, in the beginning, can leave an individual without otherwise beneficial support systems in place. It is important to allow time to discuss one’s goals and develop a new kind of supportive relationship.
Consider a Residential or Sober Living Program
As unfortunate as it may be, there may be a situation where the lack of support from one’s friends or family can put an individual in a persistent high-risk scenario, especially if those who a person lives with don’t support a sober living space. In these situations, it may be best to consider relocating to a sober living facility or moving to live with a supportive person who does understand the importance of maintaining one’s choice to be sober.
One’s sobriety should always be their priority, and taking one’s sobriety into their own hands can involve making some difficult decisions. However, it is a testament to one’s dedication to their recovery if such a decision is made, and such a decision should be celebrated. One’s sobriety is their own choice, and whether or not loved ones are actively supportive or not, one’s personal commitment to stand by their choice can carry a great deal of pride for one’s new life.
Having friends or family who doesn’t understand your sober choice can put you in a precarious position. However, at Everlast Recovery Center, we are prepared to help you with a number of options to address your need for support. Our psychoeducation and family therapy programs are designed to help communicate the intricacies and importance of sobriety and recovery throughout your journey to help families learn to heal and grow together. Our supportive, homey community is also based on support, understanding, and a shared goal, and our residential living and group therapy programs champion the idea of unconditional support. Finding a support community can be difficult, and we at Everlast Recovery Center are ready to help you take the first step in finding and rebuilding your most effective sober community. For more information on how we can help you or speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 338-6925.