Addiction isn’t an individual problem. Addiction affects an entire community, both from a macro perspective and micro. As we have previously discussed on the Heritage Home Sobriety Blog, addiction affects every member of the addicts Unit–that inner sanctum populated by those who love you unconditionally.
Brothers, sisters, parents, lovers, wives, husbands, friends, colleagues are all affected by your addiction. And you, in turn, are effected by them–their denial, pain, and, at times, even their support.
And while you seek help for your addiction, by entering into an addiction treatment program or attending a 12-step meeting, often times members of your Unit don’t feel they need to get involved in the process. Here are 8 reasons why, according to Carole Bennett, published on The Huffing ton Post:
- Embarrassment and shame. People may view them as bad parents unable to “control” their husbands, wives’ or children’s behavior. Irresponsible upbringing of the children or disrespect to the spouse. The shame of it all with tongues wagging and fingers pointing behind their backs; too embarrassed to admit such a problem to anyone!
- Private. It’s nobody’s business. They don’t air their dirty laundry. They will work this out as a family in the privacy of their own home.
- Denial. He/she isn’t in trouble at work or with his/her home life or with the law, so things aren’t that bad. It’s just a passing phase, nothing to worry about. Everyone needs an outlet or escape these days. It’s how he or she unwinds from a tough day.
- Lazy. Someone else will handle the problem. The other spouse will deal with the child, the other sibling will deal with the parent, or this friend will deal with that friend.
- Not wanting to make waves. Doesn’t want to be punished or scolded for bringing up such a volatile issue. Discomfort in the possibility of being denied love or security. Peace at all cost…no matter what that cost is.
- Their child or spouse or friend is “doing better”. A few days of “normal” behavior and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. They’ve turned a corner, the worst is over; or so they desperately want to believe.
- The alcoholic/addict has promised they will get help and please trust them, as all will be fine. A couple of AA meetings or even professional counseling; looks good and there is another sigh of relief; until the next incident.
- Frightened. How involved do I really want/have to be? If the friend or family member seeks professional guidance, then they are now enmeshed and have to work on their part of the recovery and not just sit back and wait for their loved one to take action on their own. Old behaviors that have permeated the family member or friend have to now give way to different thinking and actions. Fear of not being able to follow through with new boundaries and expectations coupled with the fear of anger and rejection from their loved one; the alcoholic/addict.