• Marney Liston

Family Matters


If there is one support that you need in your corner when you are making efforts in recovery, it’s family. Chances are they are the people that know you better than anyone.

Let’s start with your parents. They most definitely knew you before drinking and drugs. Unfortunately, very few of us have a 100% solid healthy core family unit. In life, many of us have to deal with divorces, shared parenting, abandonment, violence, homelessness, and others’ substance abuse. The Cleavers don’t exist.


The world is still trying to place a finger on the reason why we become addicts; whether it’s genetics, life experiences, or environment. Doesn’t matter. Any way you look at it all comes full circle and brings it back in some way to family. So it has to be true that family and your relationships with them, or lack thereof, are at least part of the answer to the great nature vs. nurture debate. Regardless of the origin of our disease, when you are head-on with the hardships, confusion, and struggle... having your family involved can be a blessing, and sometimes a curse— depends on how you look at it.


I’ve heard so many stories of the tough love approach, where our family members are so exhausted with our deception, lies, and selfishness that they just pull the plug on the whole operation. They’ve figured out their love for us has manifested into a codependent nightmare and thus BECAUSE they love us we are left to find our own way.


And oh man, does that piss us off. But I bet you (for all of you who know exactly what I’m talking about), that even if they stopped enabling us, they still supported any moves we made that were healthy and in the right direction. For that, the gratitude I feel, and recognizing how working through things on my own is the reason that I’m so content at where I’m at today.


So what I’m getting at is because our track records aren’t so great in the areas of promise-keeping, honesty, following through, and dependability... earning the trust back from our loved ones presents a challenge that for sure does not happen overnight... and please don’t expect it to. Don’t start walking around proclaiming your new-found awesomeness, drenched in “pink cloud” confidence. Just do YOU, every day. The world, especially the people who truly care about you, don’t want you to tell them you’re staying sober... they want you to show them.


At the end of the day, we succeed in recovery for ourselves... but it’s a lot easier, and if we’re lucky enough, having our families and friends backing us through it all. Be patient, have faith, do the work, and show them that the miracle happens. Family matters.


Marney


P.S. I'm Grateful.


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