Alcohol and drug addiction are a family disease. When one person in a family is suffering from substance abuse, others are also feeling the effects of this. Because of this, addiction can destroy personal relationships. With help from Victory Bay Recovery Center in Laurel Springs, New Jersey, repairing relationships during addiction recovery is possible.
Rebuilding relationships is perhaps, one of the most difficult steps in substance use recovery. This part of the recovery does not happen overnight. It can take days, months, and sometimes even years to repair relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and colleagues.
There are many reasons that addiction can damage relationships. The most common are:
Trust is typically something that takes time and effort to build. When trust is broken, it is difficult to repair. Addiction leads to trust issues between family, friends, and relationships, which often leads to divorce, and disconnection between family members and friends. A person who has an addiction typically puts their substance use above all. It is common for those who have a substance use disorder to cheat, lie, and steal from those around them, causing pain and heartbreak.
Guilt and Shame
Loved ones may feel like they enabled your addiction and did not do enough to help you. When you are a loved one of someone with an addiction, it is hard not to feel like you are the one to blame. However, countless influences are outside of a loved one’s control that may have caused an addiction. These include genetics and peer pressure. It is important to remember that everyone must forgive themselves in this situation to move on and heal.
Those with addictions are often unable to contribute to mature and healthy relationships because of the heavy focus on their substance use. Substance users likely grow preoccupied with finding ways to get drugs or alcohol. Most of the time they are sad, tired, and make unhealthy choices. Having a healthy and steady relationship is not important to them. Substance users are very manipulative and find people they can use to support their habits.
How to Rebuild Relationships in Recovery
Finding a drug and alcohol treatment program is one of the very first steps in recovering from addiction and rebuilding relationships. Professional help is needed and is the key to healing from addiction and living a healthier sober lifestyle. To deal with the aftermath of addiction, the client must take responsibility for their actions during their addiction. While in a New Jersey 12-step addiction recovery program at Victory Bay Recovery Center, staff and therapists can help clients using various techniques.
- Set realistic expectations- Clients may be feeling positive about the progress they made during recovery. This is, after all, is a big accomplishment. Clients find themselves focusing on the future rather than the past. Their past most likely consisted of patterns of negative behaviors and abuse in relationships. Clients may offer sincere apologies to loved ones. However, these issues cannot be resolved immediately. Clients should set small goals for themselves to repair broken relationships. Any actions towards these goals should be celebrated.
2. Rebuild trust – Trust is one of the hardest things to build and one of the easiest things to be broken. If trust has been betrayed several times, rebuilding it will be a lengthy process. Those with substance use disorder often lie, cheat, and steal to feed their addiction or hide behind it. To rebuild trust, there are some important aspects to keep in mind. They include:
· Keeping your word – When you make a promise, be honest, and follow through with it. This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you are going to keep your word. Follow through with treatment plans to show loved ones that serious about your recovery.
· Communicate – During your addiction, it is likely that you withdrew from friends and family to hide your behaviors. Communication is early recovery is difficult, however, it allows loved ones to stay connected with you. Share your feelings and fears with them to ease anxiety and encourage healthy interaction.
3. Let go of the past – An addiction therapist can help you find methods to work through your past traumas. To successfully recover, a person with an addiction must find ways to heal and move on. Harping on the past can become unhealthy and does not benefit the recovery process in any way. Speak with loved ones to make an agreement that you will not hold past mistakes against each other.
4. Approach those you want to connect with – Talking with people with who you want to rebuild relationships is crucial. Let loved ones know that you have grown as a person and you are not the same as you once were. If you are not ready to connect in person, a good option is to send a letter to them. You may be surprised about how much a handwritten apology or message can mean to someone.
5. Avoid Relationships that are Unhealthy – Some relationships are considered unhealthy and connecting with these people again may cause a relapse. Unhealthy relationships are better off left in the past.
At Victory Bay Recovery Center in South Jersey, we understand the challenge of mending broken relationships when recovering from addiction. For those who are wanting to live a healthy, sober life, we offer a support system that will help you from falling back into addiction. To learn more about Victory Bay Recovery Center and our treatment options, call us today at 855.238.9004.
Lavitt, John. “8 Ways To Rebuild Family Relationships In Early Sobriety.” The Fix, 15 July 2016, www.thefix.com/8-ways-rebuild-family-relationships-early-sobriety. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.
Center, Ridgeview Ranch Treatment. “How to Rebuild and Create Relationships After Recovery.” Medium, 27 June 2018, medium.com/@RidgeviewRanch/how-to-rebuild-and-create-relationships-after-recovery-67155ce834a4. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.