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Making the choice to go to treatment to face your addiction is a significant decision. It is a choice that affects not only you but also every single person in your family, especially your children. You were brave and strong to decide to get sober and put your health and family first. There is a good chance that your addiction consumed you. Addiction may have caused you to make choices that you would not have made if you were not addicted to drugs or alcohol. Your life changed as your addiction took over, and it probably made a significant impact on your family life. Addiction affects every member of the family and can create lifelong issues if not worked through successfully. 


Reconnecting with your family and children is one significant activity that comes after leaving treatment. Every relationship is unique; however, most people need to put in the effort to reconnect and make amends. Expecting your children to simply understand the process you took to get sober is not realistic. You will need to put in the effort and help them to understand what you have gone through. Having open and honest conversations will help to reconnect and begin to build a level of trust again. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you start the journey of reconnecting with your children.


Be Open About Treatment


Your children may know the word treatment, but there is a good chance they do not understand what it means. They probably don’t know what occurs in a treatment center and what you did while you were in there. This is a wonderful place to start to build trust. Explain what your day looked like while in treatment. What activities did you do, how did you receive help, and who did you receive support from? Talk about the small details and events and activities you think your children would care most about. 


When your children can begin to form a picture in their mind about where you were, it helps them understand what you went through. Even if your child visited you in treatment, take time to explain the things they saw. The more open you are, the more your children will trust what you are saying. 


Talk About Your Goals


Explain the goals you are setting for yourself. Where would you like to see yourself a year from now? What about five years from now? Explain these goals to your children because your goals directly affect them. These goals will help assure them that you do not want to go back to the life of your past that included risky and unhealthy behavior. Help your children to know what to expect from the future. 


Your relationships were affected by the choices you made while facing an active addiction. You probably made choices that did not put your family first. It will take time for your children to understand how hard you have worked and what changes you are making. Do not lose hope or get frustrated if your children need time to understand your goals and life choices. Continue to move forward and make positive choices for your family, and your family will begin to accept the changes you have made. 


Explain Boundaries


Boundaries are necessary after going through treatment. You will need to develop boundaries to help keep you safe and on the right track with your sobriety. Everyone creates boundaries to fit their specific lifestyle. Explain to your children what boundaries are. Talk to them about what your particular boundaries look like. How will your boundaries affect your children and your family? Will their daily life look different? Talk with them about what you need from them. Then turn the conversation and have them talk to you about what they need from you to feel comfortable. 


Begin to Build Trust


Building trust takes time. Every relationship is unique, so try not to compare your recovery journey to other recovery journeys. How you rebuild relationships will be different than how other people have rebuilt relationships with their families. Try to find comfort in knowing you are doing a good job working through your recovery. Continue to make healthy choices and be open with your family. They will respect your honesty and want to help and support you along the way. Trust takes time to build. Do not dwell on it if relationships do not instantly go back to where you would like them to be.


Rebuilding trust with your children after treatment is a crucial part of recovery. Trust takes time and effort, so do not lose hope if it does not occur as quickly as you would like. Try to be open and honest about the process you took to get sober. Talk about your goals and the changes you plan to make to your life. Your family loves you and will support you as best as they can. Begin to build trust in whatever way works best for you and your family. Here at The Guest House, we know how challenging it can be to navigate life after treatment. You will face challenges that test the skills and tools that you learned in treatment. Addiction affects the entire family, as does recovery. At The Guest House, we are here to support you every step of the way, regardless of where you are in the recovery process. Call us today to learn more about how we can support you at (855) 483-7800.