Did you know that only 10 percent of people living with addiction get the treatment they need for recovery?
This is unfortunate because addiction can in fact be treated, and those with substance use disorders have made incredible progress in rehabilitation programs. No matter how things seem like now, there is a way to move beyond your addiction, address your broken relationships, and come out the other side a little bit stronger and wiser than you were before.
While addiction recovery is all about mending the relationship you have with yourself, there comes a time when you will want to make amends with those around you.
This article addresses some of the most important things you need to keep in mind while doing the latter.
Let’s get started.
1. Patience Is Key
The desire to fix things overnight is a very human one. However, giving things time to fix themselves will serve you a lot better in the long term.
Be patient with your friends and loved ones, and be patient with yourself. There is no rush to the finish line. Getting sober takes time, and so does fixing relationships.
Some people will have a hard time accepting or understanding that you’ve changed. While this can be frustrating, know that it is only through time that you will be able to rebuild their trust for you again.
2. Honest Communication
There is nothing more important in a relationship than honest, open, and transparent communication. If you want to fix broken relationships it is important that you express your thoughts, actions, and intentions in a manner that is direct and honest.
Take your time to iron out your thoughts, be honest with yourself about your role in the relationship, and ask yourself if you have it in you to do your part this time.
It is also important to figure out what you are comfortable disclosing and what you aren’t. While honesty is important, it is not necessary for you to divulge details that you would be uncomfortable sharing. Simply be honest about what you are willing to disclose and what you aren’t.
Work on your social skills, take accountability for your actions in the past, talk about how you feel today and how far you’ve come, and be open about what you would like in the future. However, do be sure to take your time to listen to the other person with an open mind, and hear what they have to say.
3. Take the First Step Towards Making Amends
We all make mistakes sometimes. The true test of a relationship is our ability to make amends, seek out forgiveness and handle conflict effectively.
No one is at their best when they are going through a difficult time. However, during the course of your recovery, when you have made sufficient progress, you can begin to take the first steps towards making amends with your loved ones.
Reach out to them, offer a sincere apology, and express your desire to make things right. While everyone may not respond to this well, or even at all, know that you are doing your part.
4. Acceptance and Expectations
Know that if you do not feel up to rebuilding the relationship, you do not have to. Sometimes, simply making amends is enough to move beyond the ill will, find some sense of civility and then, simply move on.
Of course, do be sure to set the right boundaries with those who may not be as understanding as others. Not every broken relationship is worth fixing.
Not everyone will want or accept you back into their lives. Learning to accept that this is a decision that they’ve made will help you find your peace.
5. Initiating Contact
It might seem daunting to talk to loved ones you’ve hurt in the past. Do they want to hear from you, after the last time? Will they be understanding and empathic towards what you have to say?
The key here is to focus not on what their reactions will be, but on your actions. If you truly believe that there is a relationship worth fixing, and you are sincere in your attempt to fix it, that is all that should matter.
It is quite likely that they are too afraid or unsure whether you want to hear from them as well. Take the first step, reach out, start a conversation and let them know that you do care.
6. Living in the Moment
Your past actions do not have to define who you are today. Mistakes, arguments, and conflict are an inevitable part of all relationships. Getting treatment was a step in the right direction, and now you are well on your way towards recovery.
Now that you’ve taken active steps towards fixing your ways of the past, and making amends with the people that matter, it is time to move forward and experience the moment.
Fixing Broken Relationships: Take it One Day at a Time
Broken relationships take time to rebuild. However, with open and honest communication, patience, initiative, sincerity, and a genuine effort, you will be able to restore what was once lost. That being said, it is important to manage your expectations and learn to accept situations for what they are.
Do be sure to be gentle with yourself during the process and forgive yourself first.
If you or someone you know is living with a substance use disorder, know that you are not alone, and help is always available to you.
At Sober Life Treatment Center, we offer a variety of programs designed to help anyone living with a substance use disorder get back on track. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services or talk to a qualified mental health professional today!