Once you have gotten sober and learned how to maintain your recovery, you may feel on top of the world. You now have a new attitude ready to take on the world. However, before you begin living happily in recovery, it is crucial to take a step back and think of those you hurt while struggling with active addiction. Just because you have healed does not mean that others have. Knowing how to mend the hurt and fix broken relationships is necessary for ongoing recovery.
Maintain Your Sobriety
Maintaining your sobriety may seem obvious, but you can’t expect to rebuild relationships if you return to using drugs and alcohol. Your friends won’t take you seriously, and the hurt will continue. Make sober friends, keep up with aftercare, and engage in sober hobbies. Maintaining your sobriety is the first step in mending broken relationships.
Practicing Proper Communication Methods
During treatment, you most likely learned how to communicate calmly and effectively. Healthy communication may have been something you didn’t know how to do before, especially during active addiction. Now that you have these skills at your disposal, it is essential to use them, especially with those you are trying to repair relationships with. Remember to be an active listener and engage in conversation with the person to understand what they are trying to stay. Do not judge them or make the conversation all about you. By making this effort, you will show that you want to better your dynamic and are serious about fixing the hurt you caused.
Consider Couples or Family Therapy
If you want to repair a relationship with your significant other or family member, it is crucial to think about the other person’s feelings and emotional state. They may not understand what you have been through or realize you want to patch things up. Couples or family therapy is an excellent place to start; this can provide you and your loved one with proper addiction education and help fix any dysfunction in interpersonal relationships. It will also help you both learn to resolve conflict in a healthy manner and improve communication skills. Couples or family therapy can be a stepping stone in mending the relationship.
Apologize to Those You Hurt
You cannot expect to begin mending hurts without issuing a proper apology to those you have wronged in your past due to addiction. Taking the initiative to admit your wrongdoing and taking responsibility for your actions can mean a lot to someone trying to forgive you. The best way to make an apology is to be direct and use your actions to show you are genuine. Rather than saying you are sorry and walking away, show the person you genuinely mean it by showing putting in the effort to show you are trying to be a better friend. Sometimes, this just means staying sober and showing that you are committed to recovery. Ultimately, you know how to make things right with those you want back in your life. This process can be challenging, but it is nothing compared to the pain of not trying your best to apologize to those you hurt and care about.
Following Through on Commitments
When you were actively struggling with addiction, you probably weren’t the most reliable friend. You may have told someone you would be there to help them move but instead went and got high. Now that you are sober, it is essential to follow through on your commitments and be a better friend to those you care about. When you say you will do something, make sure you actually do it. If you agree to help a friend move, show up early and help them move. If you say you are going to dinner with someone, don’t stand them up; this will show those you care about that you are reliable and a friend worthy of their trust.
Be Active in Other’s Lives
Just as you didn’t often follow through on your commitments, you most likely weren’t active in a lot of people’s lives when struggling with addiction. Recovery is a time to change that by showing up, actively listening, showing interest in others’ needs and wants, and offering support. Learning how to be vulnerable in front of those you care about can help your relationships grow more profound and rewarding. It will take time, but it is worth showing that you are a real friend and want to be there for the people you care about, even when it doesn’t serve your interests.
Leaving treatment does not mean your recovery journey is over. You still have work to do, and one of the next steps will be repairing the damage done to others while you were struggling with active addiction. There are many ways to do this, but it is about taking responsibility for your actions, saying you’re sorry, and then proving to others that you are serious about your recovery and earning their trust back. Mending your hurts will take time, but earning back the trust of those you love is a reward that cannot be matched by anything else. If you are at this point in your recovery, contact Northstar Transitions. We have helped numerous clients reconnect with past friends and family and repair the relationships for a bright future. Recovery is not only about healing yourself but those you care about as well. Call us today at (303) 558-6400 to get started.