Even as someone begins to implement their recovery coping strategies into their daily lives, and have achieved and maintained their sobriety through a transformational sobriety program, there are still many goals that someone may want to accomplish for themselves. There can be a number of personal and professional goals that someone seeks to achieve in their sobriety as they continue on their new paths towards their future. One of these personal goals could be a desire to start a family. However, this kind of goal needs to be thought about carefully, regardless of one’s history with addiction. For those who have been through a program for recovery from addiction, there may be additional considerations that must be addressed before someone can fully commit to such a huge life goal. Considering starting a family as someone in recovery is certainly possible, but there are dangers that each person must consider before making this kind of commitment.
Don't Rush Into It
There are a number of reasons that someone just leaving a recovery facility should carefully consider when thinking about a goal such as having children. Recovery itself isn’t something that has a scheduled end date, and just because someone has successfully been through a recovery program and has begun to internalize the transformational mindset, coping mechanisms, and life skills entailed doesn’t mean that they have conquered addiction as a whole, or will never feel the urge to engage with an addictive substance or behavior again.
New stressors and triggers can surface at any point in recovery, and it is important that each person is comfortable in identifying potential stressors for themselves ahead of time and has continued to adapt and add to their coping skills on a daily basis. For some, it can be especially difficult to maintain one’s sobriety during the winter months due to the difficulties presented by seasonal affective disorder or lack of overall outside activities. Others may want to ensure they can go through certain sports seasons and can cope with cultural events, like the Super Bowl, that once held a tight link to their drinking. Knowing these difficult spots, as well as continuing to develop new coping strategies can help one be more prepared and practiced in caring for themselves before taking on the responsibility of caring for someone else.
Establishing a new life in sobriety takes time, and there will be many new obstacles along the way for each person as they pursue their various goals in sobriety. For those thinking about children, it is important not just to feel like one can care for another while maintaining their own sobriety, but also have proven their responsibilities to others who may be intimately involved in the care of the child as well.
Children demand a lot of responsibility, so it is important that each person has time to develop and tend to their own responsibilities as well, in order to both ensure that each person is up to the task when considering children, as well as helping them manage their time each day to ensure that there will be sufficient time for someone to care for a child. These life skills need to be developed in a refined way before introducing the idea of a child into the mix, and actions such as taking out the trash, maintaining a clean living space, managing finances, holding a job, creating a healthy diet, and being able to structure and schedule one’s self autonomously are all important aspects of daily life that need to already be in place. Not only is rushing into the idea of having a child ill-advised for those who may still be exploring their stressors and working on their coping skills, but it may also be ill-advised for those who are still in the process of formulating their daily lives and the responsibilities therein.
Talking About the Genetic Component
Children of a person who has suffered from addiction have an increased likelihood of developing an addiction themselves. While this genetic component doesn’t mean that developing an addiction is a foregone conclusion, it is still noteworthy that one will have to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of the child. Not only does this mean continuing to maintain skills learned while in recovery, from coping skills to life skills, it also means having to confront one’s child about a parent’s own history with addiction and explaining, in detail, the difficulties therein. This conversation is inevitable and will demand that each potential parent is both willing to discuss their past actions and entire recovery story with their child to help guide them away from similar actions. It is a difficult thing to recount, and so someone finding acceptance and forgiveness in themselves is paramount before someone decides to introduce the treasure of a child into their lives.
Adding children into your life is a huge step that may be a part of your personal goals. However, it is important that each person understands the commitment and responsibility required in order to balance their continued recovery and sobriety with their newfound parenthood. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, or are in need of exploring more personalized coping mechanisms that can help you achieve your own personal goals in sobriety, START UP RECOVERY can help instill the individualized method of care you need. Each person’s stay at one of our luxurious apartments is completely personalized to help make each person as comfortable as possible while exploring both their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths and goals. Entire communities work alongside each other in an atmosphere of support and mentorship that can help you understand your unique path towards your own goals and transformational lifestyle. For more information on how START UP RECOVERY can help you, or to speak to a trained professional, call us today at (310) 773-3809.