Drug and alcohol addiction is a disease that affects more than the addicted person. It often takes a large toll on their loved ones. Family and friends often lose trust in their loved one and may feel a mixture of anger, resentment, worry, and stress as they try to cope with the situation. Those who enter addiction treatment and recovery will have some work ahead of them to restore trust with family and friends. It might not be easy, but with time and commitment, relationships can heal.
The Importance of Rebuilding Trust
Rebuilding trust is a crucial part of addiction recovery. People with positive relationships with family and friends are more apt to be successful in recovery and maintain long-lasting sobriety. Their loved ones can become part of their support system and a source of encouragement and accountability.
Several additional benefits of rebuilding trust in recovery include:
- Improving the person’s emotional and mental well-being by helping them feel more connected, secure, and fulfilled
- Providing the person with the opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth
- Helping them to understand their motivations and behaviors while working toward positive, healthy changes
- Providing the opportunity to communicate with loved ones in a meaningful, open, and honest way
Tips for Regaining Trust
The only way to regain someone’s trust is to earn it. There are no shortcuts to rebuilding trust with your loved ones. Below are some tips to help you move toward healing the relationships that matter most.
- Forgive Yourself
You must forgive yourself for your past actions before expecting anyone else to forgive you. You must be honest with yourself and accept what you did in active addiction. You cannot hide from your past or brush things away because you do not want to face them. Make a list of those things and acknowledge that this was the past version of yourself.
Then, let them go. When possible, make amends. Offer time, work, or money as appropriate to pay back any debts you may owe your loved ones. Apologize for specific actions or words that you know were hurtful. At the same time, focus on the new version of yourself. Have compassion for yourself. Project confidence, and others will see a confident, positive person.
- Focus on Your Actions
Show your loved ones you are serious and committed to recovery by focusing on your actions. Before recovery, you may have broken many promises. Let your family and friends see that you are committed to keeping your promises now.
- Be Open to Communication
While you were drinking alcohol or using drugs, you may not even remember some of the things you did that hurt the people you love. Let them know you are open to talking about the things that happened in the past. Admitting you were wrong is essential in trying to rebuild trust. Having an open line of communication and not being afraid to admit to your mistakes is critical for future discussions.
- Look at Things from Their Perspective
If a loved one has a moment of anger or distrust, do not become discouraged. Try looking at the situation from their perspective. Ask yourself, with your history, is their reaction understandable? Do you understand why they are worried, angry, or hurt? Tell your loved one that you really hear what they are saying and see how they feel. Validate their reaction. Reassure them of your commitment to your sobriety. Let them know their needs are important to you and that you want to respond to them in healthy, positive ways.
- Be Patient
Keep in mind every individual is different. Each family member and friend will react differently when you are trying to rebuild trust. One person may be hesitant at first, while another may immediately forgive you and trust you. Be patient. They have gone through a lot while you were in active addiction. They were hurt and lost trust in you. Some people will need to see you are committed to your recovery and have changed.
Addiction Can Affect Anyone
Addiction is a disease that can affect anyone. If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, now is the time to get help. Located in Mesa, Arizona, Canyon Vista Recovery Center can help you take back control of your life. Our skilled professionals will use a combination of evidence-based addiction treatments, holistic therapies, and psychiatric care to help you travel the road to recovery. Contact Canyon Vista Recovery today.