Why Do We Celebrate Family Involvement in Sports, But Not Recovery?

When I see family involvement in recovery, it reminds me of how it’s considered “normal” for families to invest heavily in sports.

From wearing team colors to traveling long distances and making significant investments in equipment and competitions.

It’s a collective family effort that’s celebrated. Yet, when it comes to supporting a child struggling with addiction, there’s often a stigma attached. 

Families are expected to navigate this journey alone.

As I write this and remember the significant investments I’ve made in competitive sports, I realize that the cost of my 1:1 coaching packages pales in comparison.

I eagerly invested in competitive cheer and volleyball, including tuition, uniforms, travel to other states, and incidental fees.

I made those investments because I wanted my daughter to have the advantages competitive sports would give her.

Yet it took me years of listening to my first coach’s podcast before I invested in her $ 297-a-month program (less than the cost of 1 cheer uniform).

I worried about every dollar I spent on emergency rooms, psychiatrists, therapists, nutritionists, and holistic doctors for my daughter as I tried to figure out how to help her.

The medical investments felt completely different than the sports investments. 

I never felt shame or doubt about investing in sports.

I feel the weight of this deeply in my heart as I write about it.

I imagine how different my energy would have been as I took my daughter to these appointments if medical investments were as valued in society as involvement in sports.

Why is it taboo to invest our time, energy, and money in family recovery?

We’re pathologized and called codependent when we want to help our child who is struggling with addiction.

We’re encouraged to focus on ourselves and let our kids figure it out on their own.

Yet it’s a celebrated tradition to adjust every aspect of our lives and bring the extended family to participate in sports.

Sports create cherished memories that shape our past.

In contrast, engaging in family recovery cultivates vital life skills, strengthens family bonds through interdependence and connection, promotes overall well-being, and opens possibilities for the future.

I encourage you to share these sentiments with other families you see struggling with guilt and shame about their investments in recovery or their desire to help their child.

P.S. Seeking support for family recovery? Take the first step by scheduling a Road to Recovery call. 

This judgment-free conversation allows me to understand your family’s unique needs while offering insights on how you can move towards what matters most to you.