How to Repair Relationships After Addiction
27 July, 2022
When struggling with addiction, you might make decisions that cause you to isolate yourself from friends and family members. As you recover from your substance abuse disorder (SUD), you would benefit greatly from rebuilding healthy and positive relationships—with friends, with family, and with yourself.
Why Is Rebuilding Healthy Relationships Important?
When you start abusing drugs or alcohol, your attitudes and behaviors will usually change for the worse. You may end up in financial or legal trouble. You may find yourself lying to keep your loved ones from worrying about you or holding you accountable. The consequences of substance abuse not only affect you; they also affect your friends and family.
If you have been unwilling to seek treatment in the past, loved ones offering healthy and supportive relationships may have distanced themselves from you. As those relationships have deteriorated, you may have replaced them with friendships with people who encourage your substance abuse.
Relationships with people not on the same path to sobriety will inevitably discourage your ability to get clean and stay clean. After all, if their use reminds you that your substance of choice is readily available, it will be easier for you to use it again. Disengaging with these relationships and making space for friends and family who support your goals will give you a support system that aligns with your goals.
Friends and family who support your sobriety will be there for you when recovery gets tough. They can offer support, a shoulder to cry on, and encouragement.
These positive outcomes aside, making amends with people you have wronged is a vital part of recovery. Struggling with addiction can lead you to experience shame and guilt for the choices you might have made in the past. The opportunity to apologize to your loved ones for your actions can alleviate that burden regardless of whether they are open to forgiving you.
Clearing your conscience and opening the door to reconnection will give you hope that your life can and will change for the better.
Tips for Reconnecting with Loved Ones
Reconnecting with loved ones can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. Here are three tips that may help you.
#1. Tell Them You Are Seeking Treatment
The first step to reconnecting with loved ones who support your recovery is going to an addiction center and making a sincere effort to change. Seeking treatment will show your loved ones that you are ready to do things differently.
Even if you have gone through treatment in the past and not maintained your recovery, you should not avoid telling your loved ones that you are seeking treatment. This will open the door to receiving their support, although it may take time for them to believe in your efforts. Be patient through the process and remember that they want the best for you.
#2. Take Time to Reflect
While you are in detox, you will have access to medical professionals and therapists who will be there to listen to your struggles. When you meet with your treatment team, you can discuss what has happened in your past and be given the tools and resources to process and understand your traumas, negative emotions, and unhelpful thought patterns.
Having this time to reflect will give you a better understanding of yourself, which is essential for developing or reviving healthy relationships. A relationship is never one-sided, after all. Using this time to reflect on your relationships with friends and family members will give you an idea of the boundaries you need to sit with them to feel safe and secure while reconnecting with them.
It will also prepare you to respect any boundaries they wish to set with you. Taking time to reflect will help you understand and accept how you have hurt your loved ones. Processing these events can be difficult, and it may take you some time to be prepared to apologize. It may be better to think through your apologies and speak with your treatment team than go into a family meeting without a plan.
#3. Engage in Family Therapy
When you reconnect with your loved ones for the first time, contentious feelings will likely be for all parties involved. Remember that you do not have to navigate these conversations on your own. Most treatment centers offer family therapy opportunities, which will allow a trained counselor to help you and your loved ones navigate these difficult conversations.
The role of a family therapist is to ensure all parties feel heard and their concerns are addressed. A family therapist will help all family members to have healthier and more constructive communications with each other. They will help all parties establish boundaries and ensure they are held accountable for the agreements outlined in therapy.
Walking through these conversations with a professional can ensure that everyone feels validated and that the discussions do not turn into unproductive arguments.
The Forge Recovery Center Will Help You Repair Relationships Damaged by Addiction
At The Forge Recovery Center, we understand how difficult it can be to reconnect with friends and family members after you have struggled with addiction. Through addictions, you may have made decisions that isolated you from the people who can support you through your recovery.
We are here to remind you that despite mistakes made in your past, you deserve healthy and supportive relationships, and we can help you as you open the door to reconnection with your loved ones.
Our expertly trained staff can help you through treatment, allow you to share your experiences, and provide you with resources such as family therapy so that you can begin healing your relationships. It may take time to rebuild relationships but doing so can help you build a drug-free life filled with happiness, health, and hope.
If you have questions about treatment options, contact The Forge Recovery Center today.