Rebuild Relationships After Treatment for Addiction
Although addiction wreaks havoc on your body, it also often destroys relationships between an addict and their loved ones. An addict’s drug of choice will always come first, while their relationships take a backseat. So trying to rebuild these neglected and broken relationships after seeking treatment for addiction will take a lot of time, effort and above all, patience.
Communicate and Listen
Relationships cannot function without honest and open communication between both parties. The lines of communication between you and whomever it is that you hurt while using drugs need to be reopened. Although it is incredibly important to open up to your loved ones and talk to them about your addiction and recovery process, it is also crucial to listen to them. Let them vent their feelings, their anger, betrayal, and disappointment. Forcing them to bottle up their emotions while you try and recover will only hurt you both in the long run. So listen, be empathetic, and understand that you and your loved ones need to share your feelings with one another, whether they are positive or negative.
If you have been addicted to drugs, you probably denied that you had a problem before trying to seek out help. Maybe someone had to stage an intervention before you actively realized that you had a problem, or maybe that realization only occurred when you hit rock bottom. Either way, denial plays a big part in addiction, but has no place in recovery. So in order to make amends with the people that you hurt, you need to first acknowledge that you hurt them. You cannot begin to rebuild a relationship until you recognize that it has been broken.
Become Trustworthy Again
Losing someone’s trust can happen in the blink of an eye, while regaining it takes much longer. Be patient, and don’t be insulted if your loved ones are hesitant to place their trust in you at first. For example, if you stole jewelry from your mom to buy drugs, accept that it may take time before she wears her pearls around you again. In order to regain trust you need to become reliable once more – do what you say you will, be present, communicate, and, above all, be transparent. Admitting your wrongs and communicating your fears and feelings will encourage others to do the same, and eventually the people around you will begin to trust you again. Just don’t expect too much too soon; trust is a tentative thing that takes time to build.
Try to Stay Clean and Sober
Obviously, relapse is a stark reality for any recovering addict. However, your loved ones will be more inclined to trust you if you actively try to stay clean and sober. Actions will always speak louder than words, so go to support meetings, contact a therapist, get a sponsor, do whatever it takes to prove that you are trying hard to get your life back on track. Even if it doesn’t work the first time round, if you don’t try you won’t succeed.
When it comes down to it, you will be able to rebuild the vast majority of your relationships if you are honest, patient, and communicative. Do not be disheartened if there are some relationships that you cannot salvage. All you can do is try your best to heal the relationships your addiction broke, and continue down the path of recovery.