Reconnecting with Family in Recovery
The effects of addiction are far-reaching: they not only wreak havoc on an individual’s physical and mental health, but they can also strain relationships with loved ones to the breaking point. When you’re abusing drugs or alcohol, you may do or say things that negatively impact the people most important to you, betraying their trust and harming them in ways you didn’t intend.
Once in recovery, you may feel isolated and ashamed, and these relationships may sometimes seem beyond repair. One of the biggest challenges that our clients face is rebuilding relationships with their friends and family, so we’ve compiled the most common advice we give people in recovery to help rebuild the bridges connecting them to their support circle.
Make Promises and Keep Them
The first and most important part of rebuilding any relationship is trust, but the unfortunate reality is that building trust is a lot more difficult than breaking it. While in the throes of addiction, you may have broken promises, large and small: you may have promised to do someone a favor and forgot, or promised to be somewhere and never showed up. You may have even lied about it.
Now that you’re in recovery, show your loved ones that you are determined to follow through on the things you say you will do. Start a new track record of being true to your word. Whether it’s your child’s dance recital or dinner with your parents, keeping your promises is essential to rebuilding relationships with those you care about.
Apologize and Be Patient
While in rehab, you have the opportunity to come to terms with your addiction and begin to heal yourself. Along the way, you may come to realize that there are some, or many, people in your life to whom you owe an apology for your words or actions while addicted, and you’ll decide that it’s important to make amends.
However, you should also brace yourself for people to remain angry with you, hesitate to trust you, or flat-out refuse to accept your apology. You may not be able to save every relationship, and you can’t control the way other people feel, so sometimes you may have to step back and put yourself in their shoes. All you can do is continue to give them time and space, and stay focused on your recovery.
Open Up and Express Gratitude
No matter who is still standing by your side, thank them. Your friends and family may be the reason you went to rehab in the first place; it’s very possible that you owe them your life. As you continue to rebuild your relationships with the people who matter most to you, let them know how much they mean to you.
Even if you aren’t a sentimental sort of person, express your gratitude as often as you can, and communicate with your loved ones openly and honestly. Letting them know how much you appreciate them costs nothing and means everything.
Continue Seeking Support
Whether your family and friends have welcomed you back with open arms, or you have a long road to repairing your relationships with your loved ones, don’t forget that Extra Mile Recovery is here to support you every step of the way. Our Family Therapy Program is designed to help clients and their families rebuild their relationships, creating a strong foundation for recovery now and in the future.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and have questions about our family therapy and education, family intervention, or any of our other programs, reach out to Extra Mile Recovery today.