When addiction rules your life, it destroys and confuses the lives of those around you. It also destroys the relationships that took years to build, yet moments to break.
When addiction rules your life, it destroys and confuses the lives of those around you. It also destroys the relationships that took years to build, yet moments to break. The lies, the stealing, the police, the hospital, the lack of respect, the physical and emotional abuse, all aimed at your closest friends and family, all took their toll. But that was then, and this is now. And while you can't œput the water before the waterfall, you certainly can change things moving forward.
People often say they want their old relationships back. I disagree. I don't believe anyone wants the old relationship, because it's not the relationship they once had. What they can and will have, if they rebuild the trust, is a new relationship, based on a changed person. It can't, and never will be, the same relationship, and that's a good thing. The old relationships were encumbered by hate, anger, distrust and fear, and that's the last thing you want to have in your life again.
You now understand why it isn't repairing, but rebuilding relationships that we seek. So how do you do it? To begin with, you're asking a person who you've stolen from to trust you. How can they believe a person that has lied to them? It takes time. Certainly it doesn't happen in hours or days. It can take weeks, months, or years to rebuild trust, and trust is the foundation of every successful relationship. Be patient, and be sure your actions and words match. That's how it starts.
This is probably the toughest part of rebuilding trust. When you have lied to a person, it is natural for them to doubt your honesty. When you tell them you're working late, or the dinner you are having is with a friend, don't be shocked and dismayed when they call and check on you. It's actually important that you be held accountable for doing what you say you are doing. After many œcheck-ups to confirm your words and actions are aligned with one another, you may find the trust increasing and the check-ups decreasing.
When it comes to friends, there are many you shouldn't repair relationships with, or that won't want to repair one with you. It's fair, despite your thinking that they shouldn't feel that way. You caused a lot of people pain, and some won't give you a second chance. For those who will, be sure to have a long talk with them about where you were, what you've done about it, and why you deserve the opportunity to have them in your life. Yes, you need to be humble, and ask for them to forgive you. While you were in active addiction, it was all about you. Now it needs to be more balanced, and your consideration of their feelings is crucial to the success of your new relationship.
You may be spiritual, you may be religious. If so, you might feel your relationship with God needs repair”that you have been unfaithful to Him and your faith. Talk to your clergy, open yourself up, and you'll find a very forgiving and understanding God. And if œGod isn't your œthing, whatever or whoever your higher power is, that's the relationship I'm referring to.
There is one relationship we haven't discussed. That's your relationship with you. Yes, you. You have done a lot of bad things to yourself, and you may hate yourself for them. Finding a place to allow you to process the pain and suffering you've caused in your own life, the damage you've done to yourself and your relationships, becomes essential to a complete and satisfying recovery. There is probably no more important relationship to repair than the one with you. Until you begin to feel good about yourself again and wipe away the dust that's settled on your life, nothing else matters. It will all be without substance. So save time, effort, and a lot of grief. Repair your relationship with you first. Then go after the rest. Let go of the old friends, and embrace the winners. They'll be the ones to help you find the path to success on all levels.
Repairing and rebuilding relationships isn't easy, and it's not quick either; but it is worth every moment you devote to it. Life for you and those around you has changed. Embrace those changes, find the benefits of your experiences, both positive and negative, and live your life to the fullest!
Congratulations, today is a new day.
If you are looking for a comprehensive addiction treatment program, one that will take you from detox to aftercare, then Florida Center for Recovery is the right place for you. Offering a unique blend of traditional and holistic approaches, we've been helping clients recover for over 10 years.
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