A critical step in all substance abuse recovery programs is to reconnect and repair relationships with your family and friends who were affected by your addiction. The nature of the addiction with your family and friends who were affected by your addiction. The nature of the addiction isn’t important here, but your downward spiral likely damaged a few relationships in your life. Some people couldn’t stand seeing you like that and walked away, while others did their best to help and ultimately supported you through your rehab program.

The worst thing about drug and alcohol addictions is that they don’t affect only one person – they affect everyone around them as well.

It’s a long road ahead for those struggling with addiction and sober living. Rebuilding relationships in recovery is essential for mental health and general well-being, as well as for establishing the support system you’ll need for relapse prevention. No man is an island. Your loved ones want to be there for you, and it’s about time that you were there for them, too.

To start making amends, take a look at these important points that will help you fix broken relationships, as well as those that need extra care and nurturing to succeed.

Approach Your Relationships After Addiction With a Critical Eye

Being critical towards your relationships may sound counterintuitive – but first, you need to decide which relationships are worth investing in. Not everyone will have your best interests at heart, unfortunately. Try to pinpoint if there are people in your life who are not genuine in their support or not supportive at all.

Old friends who are still using have no place on your road to recovery. They want you to continue using so that they have an excuse to do it, too (or to feel superior to you, which is even worse). Cut them out of your life without a second thought. You deserve to be surrounded by people who genuinely want to see you thrive.

At the same time, accept that some might want what’s best for you but are still feeling hurt over what transpired in the past. Don’t hold it against them. It will take time for you to rebuild trust and develop a healthy relationship with them again.

Have Realistic Expectations

You’ve just completed your drug addiction treatment program and are ready to turn a new page. A new beginning requires you to evaluate the current state of your life and to consider where you want to be in the future. You may want to look into re-entering the workforce, and you definitely want to repair your relationships because there are people that you’ve unintentionally hurt.

Even though you might be gung-ho about getting a fresh start, perhaps your loved ones are a bit more cautious. Don’t blame them for this; if your addiction lasted a long time, they might have experienced a great deal of stress and emotional pain throughout its course. You may have even made false promises about changing your ways that you didn’t fulfill at the time.

While those who care about you are likely over the moon at seeing you finally committing to recovery, some hesitation is normal. They need to be sure that you are serious in your intentions and that you will devote time and energy to fixing your damaged relationships. Keep this in mind when you first start reaching out to people.

Healthy Communication Above All Else

The foundation of any stable relationship is healthy communication. This includes both talking and actively listening. You need to hear what the other person is saying and do your best to understand their point of view. Equally, you deserve to be heard in the conversation as well.

Substance abuse treatment programs should teach you how to communicate without escalating the situation and how to resolve conflict in the best way possible. Useful communication methods take time to learn and integrate into everyday life, so go slow and be careful. Above all else, be open and honest. Talk about your feelings, but also listen to how others are feeling and why. Try to find common ground.

If you feel like you may need more professional help with this, suggest couple’s counseling or family therapy. There’s no shame in that. Trained therapists will do everything they can to help you and your loved ones regain trust in each other and move forward without the weight of the past dragging you down.

Take Responsibility

You may feel the impulse to ignore everything that happened before. It’s easy to simply vow never to mention it again and continue as though nothing happened. However, sweeping everything under the rug isn’t the solution. You might feel inclined to not talk about it, and your family and friends might be willing to let you off the hook. But to truly start healing, you need to take responsibility.

Own up to the things you did while you were under the influence. Share your emotions and how unfair you think it was to your loved ones. Ask for forgiveness.

As you already know from rehab, you can’t expect to have a bright future unless you deal with past issues. Air everything out in as calm and reasonable a manner as possible, and allow you and your family members or friends to address the past so you can finally start putting it behind you.

Actively Participate

Looking ahead, it would be great if you could start actively participating in your loved ones’ lives. For months, maybe even years, they have been by your side and were desperate to help you. Perhaps they even put some things on hold in their own careers or life goals to see you get better. Now, you have the opportunity to give back.

Take an active interest in what your friends are doing or where they’re heading in life. Show initiative and make things happen. Get tickets to a movie. Make reservations for a romantic dinner date. Show up for your kids’ baseball practice. Move with the intention of making someone in your life happy. This will doubtlessly make you happy, too.

Continue Your Recovery

When all that’s said and done, the best thing you can do is continue moving forward in your addiction recovery. What happened in the past wasn’t a good time for anyone; things were said and done that both sides likely regret. It will take a while before all the negative feelings from that time fade away and are replaced with new, happier moments.

What your friends and family will be incredibly grateful for is that you are continuing to work on yourself. Attend your meetings and see your addiction treatment specialist. Talk to your support system whether you’re feeling great or you’re feeling down. Addiction recovery is a continuous process, and you need to integrate it into every part of your life. Those who stay in your life are rooting for you to succeed; use that support to drive yourself forward and commit to staying sober.

New Relationships

A section should be spared for mentioning the new relationships in your life that are going to come along. It doesn’t matter if these are platonic or romantic ones – you will meet new people who will want to hang out with you and who you will want to spend time with.

Before this happens, you may want to take a moment to set some ‘ground rules’ for new relationships in recovery. These rules can be anything from ‘not dating someone without a steady job’ to ‘not going to bars with new friends.’ Ask for your friends’ help to compile a list. You don’t have to be too detailed; just put together a profile of a person that wouldn’t be good for you, whether as a friend or a romantic partner.

And at the very start of your relationship, especially a romantic one, be upfront. Tell them about your recovery process. Tell them that your number one goal is to maintain your sobriety and be mentally and emotionally healthy. People who are put off by that don’t belong in your life.

Conclusion

Reconciliation and harmony won’t come overnight. You and those who are close to you will need to work hard to overcome the negativity from before you entered recovery. But trust us when we say that this is a process entirely worth the effort.

By being open and honest, by listening well and articulating your thoughts and feelings, you will ultimately repair your relationships. As with recovery itself, this isn’t a one-time thing. Continually working on your relationships is crucial, and by implementing the advice from this post, you will be well on your way to a happy, fulfilling life.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (619) 630-7844 or visit our website. We would be happy to help you start on this healing journey in the right way.