Mike Tyson, one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time spoke recently of his on-going battle with drugs and alcohol. The sporting legend said, “I don’t wanna die and I’m on the verge of dying because I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been lying to everybody else about being sober, but I’m not. I’m never gonna use again.”
These statements probably sound familiar, we're sure you've heard them before. Most family members who live with an alcoholic state that the dishonesty of the alcoholic, in many ways, is harder to live with than the drinking itself. In fact, the alcoholic often tells so many lies that they, themselves, are unable to tell truth from fiction. In early recovery, one of the major difficulties identified in relationships is that the trust has been damaged so badly that family members struggle to build any trust back with their alcoholic / drug addict. This can also be a very frustrating period for the alcoholic themselves. Once the person visits rehab, with professional support, they often make very positive changes and are keen to repair some of the damage done but generally find that rebuilding the trust takes longer than they would have hoped.
Alcoholism and addiction affects far more than just the individual, both family and friends too. Therefore at The Providence Projects, family therapy and couple counselling are an integral part of the rehab programme. We continue to find that by involving the family, the long term recovery rates are excellent as the family get a good understanding of alcohol treatment and recovery, and the alcoholic gets a better insight into the damage caused by their drinking and dishonesty. This arena also allows family to talk openly to each other with a professional facilitator. Outside of this environment, these conversations often end up being dismissed and covered up, end in arguments or outright blame which are unproductive. With the help of a Providence Projects counsellor, the alcoholic and their loved one/s are able to talk, explore the relationship and look for solutions. This simple process also opens the way for further open and honest communication.
If you are a family member, a friend or loved one of someone who has an alcohol or drug problem and you'd like some support, please call The Providence Projects on 01202 393030 or 0800 955 0945 for free, confidential and professional advice.