Last week my dad turned the big 5-0, and while there were no pink flamingos in the front yard, we had a fantastic celebration of life. It was a family get-together that will be remembered for years to come. Recovery has given me many things; I think the thing I am most grateful for is my family and the connections we share today. Since entering into recovery, the bond I share with my family has grown stronger and more intimate than ever before.
Bringing together a family can be frustrating when first in recovery; I know from experience. The greatest thing is that I now have tools: I have tools to be patient, honest, and caring, and I have feelings I can express. It has taken everything I have to bring my family together. I wanted a family that was close, and that’s what I have today after a lot of work.
It’s because of the tools I have gained in recovery that I have a close relationship with my family today. When I am patient, I can listen to the needs of my family and accept that it may take time to heal what was destroyed. When I am honest, I become more trustworthy to my family, and we can start to build a strong relationship. When I am caring, my family is caring in return. When I can express my feelings in recovery, my family can listen and understand what I am going through, and, in turn, they can express their feelings. Then we can start to understand each other.
Rebuilding family relationships when you’re first entering recovery can really be a struggle. It takes a lot of work. It’s awesome that today I can be at my dad’s 50th birthday party and have an intimate bond with him and my family that I never could have imagined. In recovery, I gain the tools I need to live life, and I have to use those tools. What tools do you use to bring your family together? Have your family relationships grown since you’ve been in recovery because of the tools you have gained?