Last month we announced the development of FOR-NY’s Family to Family Recovery Resource Guide, which has been created as a resource for family members and other loved ones of individuals in or seeking recovery, by family members living in recovery.  This month we highlight one of its most important sections, “Taking Care of Yourself.”

This section addresses the fact that more often than not, we spend so much time trying to help our loved ones that we neglect taking care of ourselves.  The fact of the matter is, taking care of ourselves is not only vital to our own health, it’s vital to the wellbeing of our loved ones and the wellbeing of our entire families.  Quite simply, we cannot be there for our family member if we are not taking care of ourselves first.

“Self-care is not just a good idea.  It’s an ethical responsibility.”
Theresa Knorr, CADAC, BALANCE Recovery Consultation

As with the journey from addiction to recovery, the journey of self-care for family members (our very own recovery programs) can and should be embarked upon with the help and support of others.  The FOR-NY Family to Family Resource Guide provides information and suggestions intended to support you and your family along the way.

Topics you’ll find covered in this section include:

  • Understanding Addiction
    Having a clear perspective on what addiction is and how it manifests can provide some peace of mind.
  • Understanding Recovery
    Having a clear understanding of Recovery and realistic expectations about the fact that (for both the individual and the family) it takes time, can be fraught with setbacks, and for most, is a life-long journey, is essential.
  • Family Education, Support and/or Treatment
    Every outpatient clinic licensed by The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) can provide education, support and/or treatment to family members, regardless of whether or not their loved one is currently engaged in treatment. This section provides a link to helpful resources.
  • Mutual Aid Family Support Groups (formerly known as Self-Help)
    Connecting with others who share the experience of living with a loved one’s addiction can be an invaluable resource of support and recovery. Here’s where you’ll find links to a variety of in-person and online support groups.
  • Grief Recovery Tools/GRASP Groups
    For parents and families who have lost a loved one to addiction, finding compassionate and understanding support is critical and we’ve included links to reputable resources for those in need.
  • Coping Strategies
    As a parent or family member it is essential to find and develop coping strategies to take care of yourself and remain healthy. You’ll find a variety of suggestions here.
  • Recovery Advocacy is Not a Recovery Program
    It’s important to be aware that family members can get caught up in helping their loved one or other families in crisis and may avoid dealing with their own complicated feelings, whether their loved one has stopped using, continues to use or has passed on from their illness. We cannot emphasize this enough — recovery advocacy is not a recovery program.

Having met and heard from countless families impacted by addiction, we know there are countless others in desperate need of the information this guide will provide. It is currently in the final stages of production. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s available in both hard copy and digital formats and hope that you’ll share it far and wide.