Families become broken, and many times destroyed…an irreperable family unit, when one or more family members lives with untreated Substance Use Disorder/Alcohol Use Disorder, and/or mental illness.
When the family member(s) living with these disorders gets well and makes amends, as well as sustainable lifestyle changes, and implements new healthy daily practices, the family can heal. Baby steps.
And, sometimes the deep wounds will never heal. Other family members are not willing to do the work. They are unwilling to forgive, unwilling to empathize, have been deeply traumatized, and/or they may be living with these disorders themselves and choose not to make changes that align with wellness.
The work that is necessary to achieve wellness requires that one take a very close look at their own actions, thoughts, and behaviors. They must want to create healthy change as their loved one(s) has done. They must work to unlearn unhealthy practices that contribute to the unhealthy family dynamic. If they decide that this work is too challenging and it is not work they are willing to put forth, this family is living in what I call the “Humpty Dumpty Syndrome.”
Either each family member does their own healing individually, and together with the family…ongoing and willingly, and if not, “All the Kings horses and all the kings men cannot put Humpty together again.”
Substance Use Disorder/Alcohol Use Disorder, and mental illness are family diseases.