By the time I got to The Raleigh House, my parents were well aware of the damage their enabling and inability to set firm boundaries had caused.
They recognized that this was a family disease and that they would have to make changes as well. So, they attended the family education group every week during the 90 days I was in treatment. About halfway through treatment I told my parents that I wanted to leave. In my mind, believed I knew what I needed to do in order to stay sober.
I was ready to come home, but I wasn’t ready for what happened next.
I remember the moment vividly. I was crying, I had given my reasons for leaving and made my promises. My dad took a deep breath, looked at my mom, looked back at me, and calmly stated that if I chose to discharge before the end of the 90-day rehab program I would have to find somewhere else to live and they would not support me financially in any way.
Needless to say, this was not the response I wanted to hear.
Did I Mention I’m Also Recovering from an Eating Disorder?
I have been since I was 14. And, during treatment at The Raleigh House, I relapsed into those old behaviors once again. Conveniently, I had neglected to share this small detail with my parents during my plea for early release. I did have the sense to tell my therapist, however. And, as a result, I was informed that I would need at least another week of treatment before transitioning to the next phase of the program. Which, as you might imagine was unbelievably frustrating.
At just over 30 days sober, my natural response was still to run away rather than to work through these feelings of disappointment. This was the first time I remember my parents saying no – they recognized that I did not know what I needed. They saw an opportunity to break the enabling/rescuing cycle, and they followed through with the boundary they set.
Today I recognize how incredibly difficult it must have been for them not to hug me. Not to wipe away my tears. Not to tell me everything would be ok, and drive me home. As mad as I was at the time, I instantly had more respect for them – they had finally had enough and they were done putting up with my bullshit.
Life after the Raleigh House
It’s hard to believe, but I have been in recovery for almost two years now. I finished my undergrad degree and am preparing to start graduate school next year. Not only have I been working at the same company for over a year now, but I’ve been able to grow with the company. I have a career I am genuinely proud of. I also have my own apartment and I pay bills on time every month. I am finally financially independent.
My interpersonal relationships are better too. I am in a relationship with a man who supports my goals, shares my values and inspires me to be the best version of myself. I have reestablished trust with my parents and we now have a mature, emotionally supportive adult relationship. I’ve re-discovered my old passions (running, reading, organizing, decorating) and I’ve developed new hobbies (cooking and photography). But most importantly? I’ve repaired many of the relationships that I damaged and developed new friendships based on mutual respect and honesty.
What Will Your Recovery Story Be?
Every addiction is unique. And, every recovery story is a unique reflection of the extremely personal impact addiction has on us as individuals and on those closest to us. While your road to recovery will probably follow a very different path than J’s, with hard work and determination, you can end up in the same place.
If you’re ready to take that first step, The Raleigh House is ready to be your guide. Call today.