You worked hard to recover from substance abuse. You went through withdrawal, suffered cravings, and felt awkward and angry. Let’s face it: addiction recovery is a process that takes a lifetime to achieve. You’re working hard and are glad to be sober — but life would be a lot easier if the people you worked so hard to get sober for seemed to appreciate how much you’re trying.
The fact is that rebuilding broken relationships after addiction is one of the biggest challenges of recovery. You may have spent months or years lying to family and friends. You may have wasted precious time. Your loved ones are now hopeful, but wary. You feel like you’ve earned another chance, but how can you enjoy a sober life among loved ones when those loved ones won’t let you in? To learn more about how addiction changes relationships — and how you can work to mend them — read below.
Focus on Yourself
It’s unrealistic to expect those you hurt to trust you fully right away. They may support you, and help you when you’re feeling anxious or sad. Remember, these are people who gave you the benefit of the doubt time and time again while you were abusing drugs or alcohol. And they learned the hard way that trust must be earned. The best way to earn trust is to build a sober lifestyle by focusing on yourself.
That may sound counterintuitive, but if you spend less time worrying about what other people think and more time practicing the coping mechanisms you learned in rehab, you’ll grow stronger. When you focus on yourself, you’ll give others the space they need to heal. You’ll also give them the opportunity to watch you live a sober and satisfying lifestyle.
Over time, they will see your commitment to sobriety for themselves. Perhaps you will reengage with a favorite hobby, or maybe you’ll focus on fitness and nutrition. Your loved ones will see you hanging out with friends who really care about your well-being, instead of the individuals you used to party with. As you slowly inhabit the healthy lifestyle you deserve, you’ll draw others to you because you will have earned trust through sobriety, a positive attitude, and a willingness to work hard.
Some Relationships May Never Heal
Although focusing on yourself and a positive attitude can heal many relationships over time, some relationships may never heal. Some of these relationships may be extremely important to you, and this can be disappointing. The difference between your formerly addicted self and your currently sober self is that you used to drink or do drugs to manage negative feelings. But now, you don’t do that anymore because you know you deserve better.
If someone you love decides to walk away for good, it’s time to move on. Be honest with yourself about how you feel. Live courageously, and let yourself feel the emotions you used to cover up with drugs or alcohol. You may find yourself drifting apart from people you once loved but time will heal the painful emotions you feel. You deserve companions who love you for who you are, instead of who you’re not.
Contact Clarity Way for More Information
For more information about addiction recovery and how to repair broken relationships, contact Clarity Way today.