Rebuilding Relationships Through Treatment in Addiction Recovery
Addiction is often harder on relationships than anything else in life. In fact, damage to relationships is one of the top reasons people finally seek treatment. Addiction makes you prioritize your preferred substance over everything else in your live, including the people closest to you. Addiction often leads to lies, deceit, manipulation, and broken promises. Even the people who care about you the most may be pushed past their limits. Fixing these relationships is often a top priority for people in recovery. Not only are their loved ones important to them, but having their support is essential for a strong recovery. However, mending these relationships can often be difficult and may take some time. Here are some tips for rebuilding relationships in addiction recovery.
Relationships is what makes recovery work, through every stage. At Hart Consultants Consulting, we prioritize and focus on building the right relationships with family members, loved ones, treatment programs, and every professional involved in a loved one’s recovery. By helping families manage the many relationships involved in providing a loved one the best treatment possible, they can focus on their most important relationships- the ones within their family unit.
Work on Forgiving Yourself.
Forgiving yourself is often the hardest part. You probably sincerely regret your mistakes and don’t want to repeat them. It’s easy to confuse forgiveness with excusing your behavior. However, forgiveness is about recognizing that you were in a bad place and you did the best you could. If you keep carrying the guilt and shame of those mistakes, it’s hard to move on. It’s hard to feel like others can forgive you if you can’t forgive yourself.
The next step in repairing relationships is reach out. Be honest about your mistakes and your desire to improve your relationship. Let people know you’ve gone through treatment, that you’re working the steps, and that you’re doing your best to recover. Honesty is key. If you want to re-establish a relationship, it has to start with trust. Be honest, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.
Ask for Forgiveness.
It’s also important to explicitly to ask for forgiveness. This can be hard and people may not forgive you right away. A tacit understanding is not nearly as powerful as asking for forgiveness and the other person granting it. Asking for forgiveness indicates clearly that you know you did something wrong and that you’re giving the other person the power to forgive you or not. It’s a show of humility and vulnerability that can be difficult but powerful.
You may feel tempted to explain your whole story and why you did what you did and how far you’ve come and so on, but people won’t care about that as much as they care about the specific ways you’ve hurt them. They may want to tell you about some of those ways and how angry they are at you. As hard as it may be to hear, do your best to listen without explanations or excuses, even if you feel the other person is being unfair. This process is about repairing relationships, not deciding who was right and who was wrong. People need to feel heard, so listen. There’s a good chance you will even learn something important.
Try to See Things From Their Perspective.
It can feel frustrating when you know you’ve done a lot of work and improved your life in many ways and yet someone still treats you as if you were still actively addicted. Keep in mind that most people won’t have any insight into the work you’ve done or how you feel about it. They only know they feel deceived, betrayed, or disappointed and they don’t want to be hurt again. Try to recognize that you might feel the same in their place and don’t feel too angry or frustrated when these early conversations don’t go exactly as you would like.
It may take a while to rebuild trust. In general, people are risk averse. If they’ve been hurt, they are wary about trusting you again. It may take a while for others to decide you can be trusted again. As noted above, they don’t know what’s going on in your mind and they don’t know how much work you’ve put into recovery. If someone is willing to rebuild a relationship with you, don’t expect too much too soon. Let others see for themselves that you’re serious about recovery and rebuilding your relationships.
Accept That Some Relationships Can’t Be Fixed.
Some people just won’t be interested in having any sort of relationship with you, no matter how much you’ve changed. It’s sad and it feels unfair, but that’s how it is sometimes. You can’t force someone to trust you or care about you and any attempt to do so typically makes matters worse. As hard as it can be, you’ll have to accept that some people won’t come back into your life. Those relationships fall under the category of things you cannot change, so just do your best to make peace with that and move on.
Keep Working On Recovery.
While it’s important to reach out to the people you care about and try to rebuild bridges, it’s also essential to realize how they respond is out of your control. You only have control over your own actions. If you stay committed to the recovery process and work steadily on your own improvement, people will eventually notice.
Hart Consultants helps customize wrap-around treatment and transitional care programs for families seeking support for recovery from addiction, eating disorders, and other mental health conditions. Working with some of the country’s most trusted and renowned treatment programs, our team strives to ensure successful, stress-free recovery for the whole family. We coordinate with every member of a loved one’s treatment team to provide communication, progress, and healing. For more information on our services, call us today: (844) 262-7970