An addict in an alcohol rehab center or drug treatment facility should feel good about rebuilding their life—but it is not always so easy to rebuild the relationships hurt or broken because of addiction. Although the task is considerably difficult, it is possible to regain trust and repair the relationships torn apart by the tyranny of addiction.
Addiction not only harms its victim, but their relationship with friends and family. For many, it’s simply not possible to put their trust or respect in an addicted loved one. There are some compelling reasons for this, to be fair. Addicts, in an attempt to hide their addiction, will often lie about their behavior or how they plan to behave. It can be devastating for an addict’s loved ones when they learn they have been lied to for years. Since addiction forces its victims to do whatever it takes to get the next dose, some addicts will hurt or take advantage of their loved ones in pursuit of the substance. This usually manifests in stealing, lashing out, or the aforementioned lying. Addicts who previously provided for a family, and then lost that capability due to addiction, may have their family resent them for abandoning their responsibility. Common to all these situations is the addict’s loved ones feeling as if the addict cares less about them and their feelings than about acquiring and using more drugs.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting these behaviors, let us help. Call The Ridge to begin a path towards recovery.
Making amends is a slow and difficult process, but it can be done. First, the addict must be in recovery. An addict should only begin to worry about their personal relationships after they have taken care of their own health. If the addict is using a 12-step program as a part of their recovery, they’ll be required to make amends with those their addiction hurt as one of the steps. The key in this step is being brutally honest with oneself. The addict has to fully realize and take responsibility for all the hurtful things they did, and admit how wrong it was. They must then honestly apologize to the people they hurt.
This will probably not work right away, and it’s not a person’s responsibility to immediately forgive a recovering addict for the hurt they caused. It was the addict’s disease that caused the strains in the relationship, so it is up to the addict to do the work of building the trust back up. It will take time, but with open, honest actions, it will become obvious that the addict is legitimately trying to rebuild the relationship and isn’t just saying they are. In short—the hurt person needs to realize that it was the addiction, not the addict, that was the problem.