What if my family wants nothing to do with me?

In my previous articles doling out advice on getting sober one day at a time I often wrote about the need to connect or reconnect with family members who are not meth users. I neglected an important fact for so many users.

What if your family doesn’t want to have anything to do with you?

This is tough, but it’s hardly insurmountable, and it’s no reason to give up. So, your family has turned their back on you. So what? You’re going to go back to meth? Don’t be an idiot and confirm your family’s lost confidence in you.

In fact, if you are newly sober and your family already has told you not to come around, well, it’s just not time to come around. It’s not healthy for you to be around that at this very vulnerable stage of your recovery. Emotional pain often gives the addict an excuse to relapse. Don’t be a man or woman of excuses. Be a citizen of conviction.

Stick with the program.

With good, healthy social habits come new friends who will love the renewed you and the person who was underneath all that meth and filth all these years. They’re going to be your “family.” Don’t get it twisted, though. You can’t treat this new family like you treated your parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

This is a brand new start. An opportunity for you to make right by people. You can show this new family your love and respect by never expecting anything from them. Have shame about asking them to do things for you that you can and should do for yourself. Family is there for your needs, so there’s nothing wrong with crying out for help when you NEED help, but think twice about your responsibilities to yourself before you burden them with an ask.

You’re going to find this new family in any number of places. It all depends what healthy habits you develop. For me, I went from addict into growing a business with a very small group of people also in recovery who became my “family” on top of my blood family. That business happened to blossom into an extended “family” of people I never met cheering us on almost every day.

Out of nowhere I was blessed to break bread with new “family” in Saipan. Every day we chat and laugh and learn and, yes, we gossip, too. I’m trying to curb that lol.

I began a journey of faith shortly after I became sober, and five years later I have another family: My brothers and sisters of the morning Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Yigo.

I could write books about this experience. All you need to know is that these family ties Graced to me by the Lord – and only after I put the needle down – have made me the most joyous person you may ever meet.

I want you to be joyous more often than even I am. You just have to fight those demonic urges to use meth. Trust me, I deal with them, too; though now the urges are far and few between. Time helps to heal wounds.

What if my family wants nothing to do with me?

If your family is there for you now that you’re sober, you’re one of the lucky ones. If they were there for you while you were using, you’ll soon realize that though they meant well, they likely contributed to your addiction by enabling your lies, half truths, omissions, thievery, and even physical, mental and emotional abuse.

I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t write the next part.

You gave your family every reason to abandon you. In fact, you abandoned them. Your actions and inaction are why they want nothing to do with you. When you’re newly sober and your brain is all over the place trying to get to emotional and mental homeostasis, it can be easy to misplace your sense of justice and accountability.

Make no mistake, you made this bed with meth. Don’t get mad at your family for your present situation. Don’t start feeling sorry for yourself because you’re homeless and they won’t open their home to you. Or that they owe you some second chance just because you’re sober again. Remember, this isn’t your second chance with them. They gave you that a long time ago and you screwed them over.

If they do come around and let you back home, count it as a blessing and don’t screw it up. Live by their rules. Don’t talk back. This isn’t the streets. You’re back in civilization and you have a lot of catching up to do and trust to mend.

Take this time to heal and to learn to love yourself and take care of yourself again. Get to a point where you’re not always thinking about meth, you’ve built a routine, you can house and feed yourself (even if that means public assistance), and your mind, spirit, and body are strong.


  • Russ Mason

      04/04/2024 at 2:13 PM

    Although this may seem a little callous, you are not responsible for the feelings of others, including your relatives. Your only responsibilty is for yourself, your spouse and kids. That’s the bottom line.

    If your relatives are critical of you, that is their problem, not yours. If they are critical, that is a conscious decision they made, and it has nothing to do with you.

    If you are in recovery, you have taken a huge step. If, however, you are still using, you’re committing suicide on the installment plan. So. Becoming responsible is not for weaklings. Stay close to God, too: He sent you a Friend Request again!

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