Family is part of everyday life, and one's relationships with their spouse, parents, children, and siblings all greatly impact one's recovery. However, family members are also greatly affected by one's substance use, with addiction straining relationships and trust. Keeping the family unified towards the common goal of sobriety is essential for keeping families intact. While those who hold high-ranking positions may face their own unique hurdles and stresses associated with such positions, keeping families unified throughout recovery is essential.
The Effects of High-Ranking Positions on Addiction
Professional positions such as CEOs, presidents, executives, or other high-paying positions can look like the accomplishment of the American dream, as one is able to financially support themselves and their families. However, addiction is a disease that can affect anybody, and these positions can introduce new dangers associated with addictive substances.
Not only are these positions inherently stressful, but they are extremely competitive as one frequently may feel their job is under scrutiny or that coworkers are looking to usurp the position. Coupling this intense stress with long hours can create a very difficult combination. It is common to seek any way to relieve this stress, including in the use of addictive substances.
One's paygrade also influences these notions. An individual may have the expendable income to fuel these addictions without compromising other financial responsibilities, such as choosing between rent and alcohol or groceries and cocaine. This can make it very difficult to gauge how often one is engaging with these addictive substances as addiction develops beneath the surface.
The Effects of Family
Family is a fragile dynamic throughout recovery. Addiction can cause an individual to act against their own best interests to prioritize the use of drugs or alcohol. Such actions can include eschewing familial obligations, responsibilities, or causing an individual to lie or break the foundational trust between family members. Anger, resentment, sadness, and loneliness can pollute the minds of each family member as relationships are strained or loved ones feel as if they have to “compete” with addictive substances.
However, families are also one of the most powerful sources of motivation and change throughout the recovery process. Keeping the family unit together and focused can be the best approach to one's sober future.
Get Ready for Hard Truths
Nothing about addiction recovery is easy, and maintaining the familial unit throughout one's recovery is no different. There will be many pent-up feelings surrounding addiction. It is common that those in recovery will face some hard truths and experience uncomfortable vulnerabilities to confront the effects addiction has had on one's family. Listening to the mistakes made while using drugs or alcohol and how it has impacted one's family is incredibly difficult to hear, and apologizing for these actions can be difficult to process.
However, this is a necessary step. Keeping the familial unit together always begins with a shared understanding of one's journey and goals for all members. Utilizing family therapy programs and creating a safe space to confront past mistakes are essential parts of moving forward.
Use Time, Not Money
One's income can open many opportunities for oneself and their families, and for those navigating their newfound sobriety, it can be tempting to use this money to give back to one's family. Luxurious gifts and extravagant gestures may seem like a great idea to show one's appreciation.
However, many of the hurdles that await have little to do with one's monetary contributions, and rather, are focused on interpersonal gestures and time. Putting effort into getting the family physically together, creating new traditions, and tending to regular responsibilities and family group activities can be much more impactful than using one's financial status for extravagant gifts.
Addiction is very difficult to confront due to the stigmas associated with words like “addiction” or the fear of being perceived differently by one's coworkers or family. However, acknowledging how addiction has affected one's family is crucial to creating a unified approach to recovery. Not only can this help an individual practice humility and accountability in their journey to sobriety, but it also opens an ongoing dialogue with one's family.
While those in high-paying and high-powered positions can have a myriad of additional stresses informing their decision to seek stress relief in drugs or alcohol, children in affluent families are at an increased risk for addiction with their unique struggles, as well. Keeping an open discourse surrounding the intricacies of addiction can keep families unified on one's recovery path as well as prepared to overcome any potential risks that addictive substances may have in the future.