After you successfully complete an accredited addiction treatment program, one of your top priorities will likely be repairing damaged relationships with friends and family members. While it’s essential to apologize to people you harmed in active addiction and demonstrate your commitment to change, this process can’t happen overnight. You will need to be patient and understand that your loved ones will require time and space to heal and move forward.
Having a loved one who struggles with a substance use disorder can be an emotionally challenging experience. As drinking or drug use became a higher priority in your life, you may have driven the people in your life away. If you repeatedly refused loved ones’ offers to help or rejected their suggestions to seek treatment, rebuilding trust after addiction treatment will involve you showing them how you’ve made strides to change your life for the better. Here are some ideas you can use to get started.
1. Learn to Trust Yourself
You can’t expect to earn others’ trust if you lack faith in yourself and your ability to reach your goals. You’ll need to adopt a positive mindset and use self-affirming language to replace a negative internal dialogue. Take steps to prove to yourself that you’re worth the time and effort required to get healthy and do the right things.
2. Keep Your Promises
Substance abuse can cloud your judgment to such an extent that you’re willing to be dishonest with yourself and others. After years of hiding your behavior, lying about your drug and alcohol use and avoiding admitting to the severity of your disorder, you will now need to prove your trustworthiness to friends, family and work colleagues. Follow through on post-treatment plans to show you’re serious about sobriety. Be punctual with all your sober coaching appointments, regularly attend therapy and other 12-step meetings and do everything else in your power to earn a reputation for integrity.
3. Hone Your Communication Skills
Trying to reopen lines of communication with your loved ones may be a challenge in the earliest stages of recovery, but doing so is essential for rebuilding trust after addiction treatment. Maybe staying in touch with people who care about you initially feels daunting, but doing so will help alleviate their concerns about how you’re progressing with your goals. Designating a weekly time for a check-in chat might help establish a pattern of trust and show your willingness to be up-front and honest about your sobriety journey.
4. Be Patient
There’s no magic formula for rebuilding trust after addiction treatment. It takes time, truth and perseverance. Remember that making amends and sincerely apologizing to people you hurt can help everyone move forward, but in some cases, it might take a long while for new, happy memories to replace those painful recollections. Remember that the people who care most about your well-being will eventually forgive you, and you can build even more robust bonds with them along the way.
Moving on in Addiction Recovery
Now that you’re actively working on your sobriety, you’ll need to mend fences and reach out to important people in your life. Wholeheartedly ask for forgiveness, and those who understand your goals will become some of your staunchest supporters on your path to recovery.
If you struggle with substance abuse issues and need a helping hand, count on Segue Recovery Services. Since 2012, we have mentored more than 1,000 clients with comprehensive addiction aftercare. Contact us today for more information.