When most families first connect with me, this is what they see as the problem:
“My loved one won’t give up the drugs and alcohol, and so there’s nothing I can do to help them.”
WRONG! Drugs and alcohol aren’t the real problem. Now, stick with me here.
Drugs and alcohol are your loved one’s solution to a problem they don’t yet know how to solve.
The real problem is that your loved one has a complex disorder, and the current recovery system is set up in a way that has them—the person who is most sick—calling all the shots and fighting through their shame and lack of self worth…which keeps the addiction itself in control.
It wasn’t until after I was 2 years sober myself and working as a recovery coach on call 24/7 in an emergency room that I realized how true this was.
I was paged every time someone was brought into the ER after a non-fatal overdose, with the goal of getting them to engage in some sort of treatment. I knew that if I could just talk to these patients, I could help them, but I soon discovered it wasn’t that easy.
A nurse or doctor had to ask each patient if they consented to speaking with me, and the question they asked was the first problem: “Do you want help?”
Nearly every patient said no. More times than not they were discharged an hour later and continued on as if they hadn’t just died and been brought back to life from an overdose.
Just like most families, the hospital staff didn’t understand the real problem either. They heard, “no” and assumed no meant no. They assumed there was nothing else they could do.
I’ll tell you why “no” from an addict doesn’t mean no in a future email, but first let me tell you the most important fact I want you to keep front and center…
No one wants to keep living that way.
Despite what they tell you.
So I asked the chief of nursing to please change the question to, “There’s a recovering addict here who really wants to speak with you. Will you talk to her?”
You know what happened? Every single patient said YES.
All of them.
And once I connected with them, nearly every single one ended up getting connected to some kind of help and often asked me, “Will you talk to my family for me?”
All who struggle end up hurting their family, and yet we all want nothing more than for our family to understand us.
So, I began educating families.
I started meeting with families 1-on-1 and that turned into a weekly support group.
A year later, I looked around the room one night and realized the loved one of every single family member there was in some form of recovery.
It was at that moment I realized I needed to get what we were doing to as many families as possible, because it became clear to me just how much family is the key to unlocking lasting recovery.
Family is the tipping point. When organized in a certain way, family can create the change needed.
It’s time to leverage the most powerful system at our disposal when it comes to addiction recovery—the family system.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about the 3 core components of our Family Recovery Framework and how much of a difference they can make for more than just your loved one.
P.S. I want to get to know you and learn how best I can serve you. Comment below and let me know a little bit about your situation and what you’re most looking to learn by being here.