By Rodney Robertson, D.Min., M.A., M.Div., Director of Family Services at The Ranch The person who…
When Family Turns Their Backs on You
You have changed. You can feel it within every part of your being. Your soul cries out with a sense of peace you have never felt before. You are physically clean, spiritually pure, and emotionally healthy. You know you have a long road of sobriety still ahead of you but you believe it is something you can, and will, conquer. The only missing element for you is your family. Throughout your recovery they have consistently turned their backs on you and now you are left facing the future alone. Going forward, you wonder how you will continue to move forward by yourself.
First, it is imperative you remember you are truly never alone. As you have moved through the process of your recovery and had your spiritual awakening, you have come to terms with this concept. No matter where you go, you have faith in the fact that your Father will always be with you. Do not hesitate to take every opportunity to continue and deepen that relationship. Spend time in prayer and daily devotion with God. Search out other groups that will be a support system for you but will also help to deepen your faith. Small groups, such as Bible Studies, Sunday school classes, or other discipleship classes are perfect examples of this.
You also spent time throughout your recovery making new connections. Perhaps you created new relationships with some others in your small group sessions. Maybe your sponsor has helped you make acquaintances. However these associations have been made, one of the best things you can do now is keep them going. Make sure you seek out other support groups as well. By keeping these connections alive, you are reminding yourself of the world outside of your addiction.
Finally, you may just have to give your family members time. If you think back and can remember some of the times of your addiction, you will recognize how deep the emotions may be running in your family. There were probably times your actions caused your family members pain. Some of them may still be struggling with those moments. Others may be trying to handle their own emotional scars of anger, guilt, pain, and abandonment. You also have to keep in mind that while you may not remember every action you made while battling your addiction, your family members probably do. For them, those memories are still extremely vivid in their mind. Over time, as they see the changes you now you have made, those emotions and memories may heal and they may reach out to you again. No matter what, you have to put the ball in their court and give them the opportunity.
Your family may have turned their backs on you while you battled your addiction and moved through recovery but that does not mean you are facing a future completely alone. Your faith will carry you farther than you ever imagined. When you combine that with the new relationships you have made and the regular support groups you have, both spiritual and addiction based, you can easily picture a future surrounded by people who care about you. Only you can make the choice of the kind of future you might want to have with your family and only you can choose to leave the door open for potential healing and future relationships, knowing that if they choose to stay away, you will still have a clean and fulfilled life.