Life After Addiction (Part 2): Amending Relationships
The entire process of moving forward after dealing with the struggles of addiction is a long undertaking, but it is critical to obtain the new life that you deserve. Your journey after rehab will be a difficult adjustment; however, it will reap the rewards of personal growth along with restored & meaningful relationships. Don’t hold back—celebrate your accomplishments and start moving forward.
Once you have achieved adjusting to your new personal norms following rehab, it is time to start amending relationships. You’re a new person now, but your inner circle of loved ones has still yet to experience you after rehab. Those who have witnessed your addiction have gone through the constant ups and downs alongside you—and a simple apology is not enough. Amending your relationships after rehab will take time and effort. A new foundation must be built to move forward, but it will be worth it in the end.
CREATING NEW ROOTS
In order to amend your pre-existing relationships, it is important to start building a fresh foundation—but it must start with new roots. How do you plant these roots? Honesty. You have successfully created change from within by being honest with yourself, but now it is time to bring that change into your relationships. Relationships are not restored by fixing all of your past wrongs—it involves starting with a fresh canvas Why? Because you’re not the same person you were under the hold of addiction.
Here are a few things to remember while you are amending your relationships:
Acknowledge your positives
Take it one day at a time
Address your core beliefs
Additional support may be needed
Acknowledge your positives. Addiction is a systematic disease—a system that you had to rework in order to achieve sobriety. What does this mean exactly? While you were under the power of your addiction, all aspects of your life were affected. This includes yourself, your encompassing environments, and all those who surrounded you. Although you are continuing to work on your personal growth—you must also acknowledge the new changes happening to your existing environments and relationships.
Don’t be mistaken, this does not mean reintroducing negative people and/or environments back into your life. It is critical to avoid any triggers that could interfere with your long-term sobriety. However, in order to build a new-formed community outside the doors of rehab—you must acknowledge the positive environments and relationships that you want to recover. Once you have identified the individuals that you wish to rebuild relationships with and safe environments you can grow in—you can continue moving forward with the amending process.
Take it one day at a time. Building a new-formed trust with loved ones will not happen overnight—so it is important to not expect it. Although you have successfully completed rehab and you know you’ve changed, it will take time for those close to you to adapt to these changes. It is critical to not view trust as an all-or-nothing thing while reworking your connections with others. Those around you will be scared to blindly commit to your new promises, but be patient. Develop trust one day at a time. Everyday you are committing to sobriety—do the same with the integrity in your relationships & those around you will notice.
“Maybe love is not always about trying to fix something that is broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.” –Unknown
Address your core beliefs. While constructing your new relationships it is important to express your new core values and beliefs. The developments that you made during rehab should be shared with those close with you. Trust the process—recovery doesn’t happen overnight & neither does trust. However, there are ways to provide insight to your loved ones to encourage relationship growth. Sharing your core values will help them gain a more transparent understanding of the personal changes you’ve made in your life, which will further help you establish a new foundation.
“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” –Roy Disney
Identifying your core values during rehab ultimately helps you navigate through your new life of sobriety. Sharing these values will help your loved ones better understand you, and offer you the needed support to continue your journey. This will serve as a huge building block while rooting your new relationships. Once again, be patient and take everything one day at a time, the growth will happen organically.
Additional support may be needed. Although there are many steps that you can take to amend the relationships with your loved ones—sometimes professional help is necessary. As stated earlier, addiction is a systematic disease—thus, your loved ones were amongst those affected by your struggle. It can be difficult for certain people to adapt, understand, and trust your new life. Seeking outside support to help your loved ones cope & grow can be extremely beneficial to move forward. Just like individual therapy being a necessity for your personal development, family/friendship therapy can be beneficial for rebuilding connections with those you love.
Once you have worked to build a new trusting foundation away from the reigns of addiction—you will have a loving support system to help you maintain sobriety. We all need a strong community around us, and it is something you deserve. Be patient and don’t give up—keep moving forward.