Repairing Relationships in Recovery
One day after school, Hadley came home and told her mom she was going to the mall to get a new pair of shoes. As she turned and started to walk towards the front door, Hadley’s mom burrowed her head in her hands and muttered to herself, “Please no, not again.”
Hadley was puzzled at the reaction, but her mom was only reacting the same way she had a thousand times before when her daughter told her she was going to the mall. To her mom, the statement meant Hadley was actually going to get high with a friend and not come home until early in the morning. Even though Hadley had been completely sober for 4 months her mother remained wary, terrified her daughter would hurt their family and herself again by falling back into her cocaine abuse.
Addiction and Relationships
While Hadley’s mom’s response may seem like an overreaction to a casual observer, it’s a prime example of the lasting impact addiction can have on an individual’s relationships.
Addiction is a cruel disease that brings out many negative behaviors in an individual that can leave lasting marks on any relationship the addict may have had.
Some of these negative behaviors may include:
- Self-induced injury
- Injury to others
- Breaking the law
- Creating financial problems
During the treatment process and throughout addiction recovery, it is important to put focus on repairing the relationships you may have damaged while using. Below are the different types of relationships that can be directly affected by alcohol and drug addiction and how to start the healing process:
Romantic Relationships: Addiction can and most likely will damage the trust between your partner and yourself. In recovery, as you are learning to trust yourself again, your partner is learning to trust you again as well. Actions such as complete honesty, the openness to hear tough things, as well as establishing a system that works for the both of you, can be key elements in re-establishing trust. Additionally, intimacy is built on trust so it will also take time for your partner to welcome you back into the intimate portion of your lives.
Parent/child Relationships: The same as romantic relationships, the trust between a parent and a child needs to be rebuilt. However this needs to be done slightly differently. For instance the child needs to learn that you can keep your word and a solid communication standard needs to be reestablished. This can be done by being completely honest, while staying age appropriate with any information, and spending time with your children. Be open to allowing them to draw their own conclusions that you are healthy and in a good place to have a relationship with them.
Friendships: Addiction may damage some of your friendships and trust will need to be repaired. However, there may be some friendships that are going to negatively affect your sobriety and therefore need to be ended. Conversely there will also be important friendships that need to be repaired. These friends will need to witness that you are able to balance your sobriety and stressors of life. One of the best ways to repair these friendships is to allow them to see you stay sober, give them time, and show them you have changed.
Rebuilding relationships broken by addiction is going to take hard work on each side, but it is possible. Going through a drug rehab treatment program will go into greater detail on getting your life back, including all the people you may have lost. Don’t hesitate to seek help for an alcohol and drug addiction; we are here to help.
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