Not all family traditions are settings of smiles, laughter and fond memories together. Too many families have traditions surrounding drug or alcohol abuse and trauma involving physical or emotional abuse.
Just because this has been part of your family heritage does not mean that it needs to continue to be. With hard work and determination, you can heal from the trauma, break the cycle, and create new family traditions of strength and resilience.
Facing the Truth About Your Family
Coming to terms with a less-than-perfect family can be difficult, even if it can be as plain as the scars on your face. Not every family lives an idyllic, happily ever after. In fact, more often than not, there is some form of dysfunction, chronic alcoholism or drug use, and/or abuse. These are the ugly truths, the truths you may have been taught not to discuss. However, hiding these truths can be the source of your own substance abuse.
The truth is that a parent with chronic alcoholism or drug abuse is three times more likely to abuse their children physically or sexually. Those children are then 40% more likely to commit a crime and 50% more likely to be arrested before the age of 18. Children of parents with substance abuse are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, aggression and other behaviors, according to a study published by Social Work Public Health. These are just a few of the sobering statistics surrounding the familial impact of addiction and substance abuse.
Realizing that your family is the source of your pain and trauma and that their behaviors and trauma are handed down from generation to generation as well can give you the opportunity to choose a new path. The path of future generations can be positively impacted by your efforts to change your own destiny.
Healing From Substance Abuse and Trauma
The generational effects of chronic alcoholism and drug abuse create a heritage of abuse and trauma that can feel impossible to escape. Realizing that you can heal from your own substance abuse and the related pain and trauma you inherited from your family is the first step. Will it be easy? Of course not. Familial addiction, abuse and trauma are incredibly difficult cycles to break. However, your biggest focus should be on healing yourself.
Breaking the Cycle Every Single Day
Each new day is a new opportunity to change the trajectory of your life and of the generations to come in your own family. Seeking drug or alcohol addiction recovery can be the first powerful step that you make toward breaking the cycle. When you get treatment and are able to begin healing from your own substance abuse, you radically change the trajectory of your life.
Once you have completed treatment, your recovery journey is just beginning. Each new day offers new opportunities for your own personal growth and change. If you already have children, you can be proactive about introducing change to your family’s heritage of chronic alcoholism and abuse. You can create boundaries with extended family members who are still in active addiction or are abusive. As you learn more about recovery, you can create new family traditions of health, wellness and resilience.
Creating New Family Traditions
Finding healthy new ways to live, communicate, and share time with family can create new traditions for your future. You can learn to reach out for help from friends, community members and others to create a support network if you do not have supportive family members. The saying “friends are the family you choose” is particularly appropriate when you have a family with chronic alcoholism, drug addiction and/or abuse.
Spending less time or even no time with unhealthy family members and creating new traditions for holidays or other typical family events helps to break the cycle, as well. Instead of going to your parents for a birthday where one or more family members gets drunk or high and becomes abusive, why not go camping or take a trip to celebrate? The new possibilities are endless.
Finding Strength and Resilience in Healing
The more you learn about the inner you and your own strength and heal from your inherited pain and trauma, the stronger and more resilient you will become. Breaking away from the generations of chronic alcoholism or drug use and abuse will come more naturally every day. Soon you will find that even if your life and family are not the ideal or even the typical, you may have found something better: your own healing.
Some family traditions are ugly and harmful and create a heritage of abuse, neglect and substance abuse. You have the opportunity to break this cycle and heal your own life, as well as create new healthy traditions both now and for your future generations. You can begin your new family traditions of wellness and health at DiscoveryMD. Our programs offer the opportunity for you to heal not only from your substance abuse, but also from the pain and trauma of growing up in a generational history of chronic alcoholism or drug abuse. Reach out to talk to one of our staff members about how DiscoveryMD can create an individualized plan for your treatment. When your treatment is complete, you can continue making new traditions by participating in our alumni program to continue the healing for new generations. Contact us today.