National Adoption Month: Different Kinds of Families
So many kinds of families exist, and there are so many ways to create them. National Adoption Month acknowledges that families are people who care about each other, no matter how they’re related.
Depending on the circumstances, we might embrace existing families or create loving new ones.
Breaking Free from Families
Sometimes, we create new families because our old family units are no longer sustaining our physical or emotional health. If we were addicted to alcohol and drugs, sought rehab treatment, and are living in recovery, we might be a very different person than we were before, or we might live a very different lifestyle.
It might be good to examine whether our families are giving us the assistance we need. Supportive families have members who
- Encourage us to find assistance and help us find this assistance.
- Support our recovery efforts and honor the hard work and changes needed to become sober.
- Consider making changes to reinforce our ongoing efforts to avoid alcohol and drugs.
Other families may not be so supportive. They may deny or minimize addiction-related problems because they’re worried that addressing them could expose other problems or reflect negatively on them.
Family members might also still be abusing alcohol and drugs themselves. They might not want their relatives to attend rehab because they’re afraid they’ll have to face their problems and go as well.
Relatives who are still active alcohol or drug users might be bringing the substances into the environments they share with people in recovery. This could create temptations for people who have sought treatment for addictions and are actively working to stay sober.
Finding (and Creating) Supportive Families
If we have relatives who are unsupportive or say or do things to sabotage our recoveries, we might choose to spend time with other, more supportive relatives.
We can also create new families. Our friends, significant others, and neighbors can be our families. So can children we foster or adopt.
During their treatment programs and recovery efforts, people might meet other people who are facing similar experiences. While supporting their sobriety, these people might form special bonds.
People can celebrate holidays and life milestones with the families of their births, the families of their choices, or both. They don’t have to be related by blood, marriage, or documentation to care about and support one another.
familyequality.org – National Adoption Month
easyread.drugabuse.gov – How Can Friends and Family Help?
sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Can Friends and Family Visit Me in Rehab?
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