How to Find Support When Family of Origin is Toxic

How to Find Support When Family of Origin is Toxic

Support from the family is necessary for success for so many people. The encouragement and love they feel can be so helpful as they walk the challenging journey. When the family is not supportive or an active part of recovery, it can be disappointing and frustrating. The family may not have regular contact with the person or be actively involved in counseling and support group work. With toxic families of origin, it is important to find other means of support for recovery.

Hard to Change

Toxic family culture does not shift easily. It takes time to adjust things so people feel they have the support they need. When it comes to difficult situations, here are some of the reasons negative situations do not change:

  • Emotionally abusive family labels loved one as a failure and not able to complete rehab (potentially a reason why they began drinking was not feeling good enough)
  • A distant family cannot provide help if it inconveniences themselves
  • Recreational drug use or drinking (and other addictions) may be ongoing within the family
  • Denial drives family that feels its first concern is to stay respectable and honorable in the eyes of community, family, and friends

Perhaps, also, it is a smaller family and there are not many people so it is lonely and isolating. This is also dangerous for recovery. Whatever the circumstances, the absence of healthy family support makes it important to build a strong network elsewhere. 

Find Support

When looking for the right support, it means seeking out a formal support group. Once in a group, it means staying active. Religious groups are one place (church, recovery, etc) and then there are secular groups, networking meetings, recovery groups of all kinds, and spaces to feel heard and vulnerable as a person with the addiction. There are also dysfunctional congregations as well as families. The golden rule in seeking out support for recovery is to find what works best for the person going to rehab. Their needs must be met in order to feel heard and validated:

  • Recovery groups
  • Hobby groups
  • Sports or recreational groups
  • Arts, music, and culture organizations
  • Organizations for people with toxic families
  • Therapy

There are myriad ways to cultivate a culture of community when going to rehab without support. It is difficult, but it is worthwhile when considering the challenge of facing recovery without support. It is also worth investigating within therapeutic circles how to let go of a loved one who is causing challenges for recovery. It may be many people, not just one. The key is to find those who will support the journey and not continue to be toxic. Healing is necessary (and possible) with the right focus and intention on getting well and releasing all else.

Oceanfront understands how hard it is to let go of the addiction. It is difficult to let go of what feels safe and comfortable, but still toxic. Leaving family and friends on top of it who are not supportive is just another challenge to get past. We will help you tackle all of it and rebuild your support system from the ground up. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295