Addiction has an adverse impact on every area of the sufferer's life. This includes their relationships with others. Following recovery, many former addicts are ready to repair this area of their life but don't know how. If this is your dilemma, this article provides you with several straightforward strategies you can use to start rebuilding broken relationships now.
Let the Professionals Help You
Oftentimes, people think that once they've left an inpatient or outpatient rehab clinic, they should no longer ask for or need help from counselors, detoxification specialists, and relationship therapists. While leaving a rehab setting means that you've made substantive progress on your path towards recovery, this doesn't mean that you won't need help rebuilding your life.
Be sure to reconnect with several professionals from your treatment facility and ask for advice or ongoing services that will enable you to develop positive, mutually beneficial relationships with friends and family members. According to Midwest Institute for Addiction, continuing outpatient care “focuses on the importance of having a positive support network mainly composed of family, good friends, non-using peers, and sponsors.” So don’t hesitate to seek help in building a strong network of relationships.
Be Direct and Honest
As discussed by JourneyPure, friends and family members often expect former addicts to be in denial of their addiction. As such, it's important for you to be direct and honest regarding your motivations for repairing your damaged relationships.
While there's no correct way to start the communication process, consider the value of apologizing first. This technique can help everyone overcome any grudges or pride that might preclude the relationship from healing. You can move forward by stating that your addiction prevented you from maintaining the mental clarity and physical energy necessary to recognize the importance of spending time with loved ones and treating them well during these social interactions. But as you make amends, try not to be too hard on yourself.
Set Realistic Expectations
One of the reasons people fail to realize their life goals and dreams is that they don't set realistic expectations. Instead, they think that everything will go exactly as they plan. When this doesn't happen, they quit the process of making positive life changes that are conducive to leading a healthy, happy life. Don't commit this error when it comes to repairing damaged relationships.
Instead, be realistic about the fact that it will take time for you and your loved ones to feel the same sense of deep affection, love, trust, and mutual appreciation that you shared in the past. Often times, relationship building requires patience and difficult conversations.
If you're serious about rebuilding broken relationships after addiction, know that you take steps today to start moving forward. Utilize these relationship-building strategies to put yourself on track to cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships with the people in your life.