If you are someone who has struggled with drug addiction or alcoholism, you have probably wronged at least a few loved ones along the way. Addiction has a way of taking first place in our lives, making us blind or unresponsive to the needs and emotions of those we care most about. An addiction makes us love our substance first and foremost, causing the destruction of relationships in our lives.
If you are working to get sober, you probably have many things on your mind. One thing that is weighing heavily on you is your broken relationships and how to fix them. As you continue in your recovery, it is important to make amends with your loved ones, by following the steps laid out below.
Take an honest look at how you’ve wronged others. As you contemplate repairing relationships, sit down and take stock of those you’ve wronged. Was it just your closest family members that suffered because of your lies, abuse, and overall behavior, or were co-workers, employers, friends, and other acquaintances affected by your addiction as well? Make a list of those you need to make amends with, starting with those you are closest to.
Talk it out. Take time to have an honest conversation with the person you’ve wronged. Be open about how your addiction has impacted your relationship, what you’ve learned, and how you are feeling about that person now. Then, be ready to listen to what the other person says. Give them the chance to tell you how your actions affected them. Don’t get defensive or argue. Be compassionate in your talk with the person and be understanding, and then reassure them you want to make things right between the two of you.
Find a way to make it right. Making amends is much more than asking for forgiveness. Once your loved one has agreed to work on things, you will need to work hard to make them comfortable with the relationship again. You can’t fix every wrong, but your actions today can go a long way toward healing past mistakes. Your kind words, honesty, quality time together, and overall attitude will help rebuild your relationship. Your actions in the rest of your life will also convey the message to the person that you are ready for a fresh start.
Be patient. Fixing a broken relationship does not happen overnight. Allow time for healing. Don’t give up too quickly. Your lies, deceit, and actions will be difficult for the other person to forget, but if you are patient and keep working at the relationship, you can build trust with that person again.
Addiction recovery is a time to be humble, empathetic, and understanding. Be prepared to hear some painful words from those you have wronged, seeing the situation from their perspective and working toward a positive solution.
If you need addiction treatment, My Recovery Helper can find a program that is right for you. We work with a network of rehabs that will help you overcome your addiction and rebuild your life and your relationships. Contact us at (844) 867-6835 to learn more.