After you leave a rehabilitation program and begin to ease back into everyday life, your top priority is often rebuilding relationships with your loved ones.
Addiction can take a toll on any relationship – including with those we love the most. Lying and secrecy often come hand in hand with addiction and may have damaged the trust between you and your friends and family members. Your loved ones may also have been exhausted by the emotional ups and downs of your struggles with addiction.
Addiction is a disease of the brain, and your loved ones are often understanding of your experience.
Luckily, most of the people we love are ready to forgive us. Rebuilding trust, however, isn’t always easy, and it takes time and patience. Here are a few tips to help you regain the trust of your loved ones.
Attending Support Group Meetings
Often, trust begins to rebuild as soon as you take responsibility for your actions and show a genuine desire to change. Attending support groups like 12-steps meetings after you leave rehab can demonstrate your continued commitment to recovery.
Moreover, the 12-step method involves recognizing the people you have hurt and making amends to them. Participating in these meetings can offer you support and advice in taking these steps and help you rebuild your relationships with loved ones.
Keep Your Word
To regain your loved ones’ trust, you need to be completely honest with them. You need to demonstrate every day that you will keep your word and be open with them about your thoughts and actions. If you give your loved ones reason to doubt your honesty or sincerity about your recovery, it will be much more difficult for them to trust you.
Keeping your word is simple. Attend your appointments and work commitments, participate in support group meetings, and fulfill your duties and obligations. And if you are unable to commit to something, be honest about it.
Make Sure Your Loved Ones Can Reach You
If your relationship with a loved one has been damaged by addiction, opening the door to constant communication may feel daunting. However, those who love you often feel anxious and worried if they can’t reach you, especially if you have had a dangerous relationship with substances. Keeping lines of communication open can help relieve much of this anxiety.
Develop a Healthy Daily Routine
Developing a structured daily routine and building healthy habits can help demonstrate your commitment to recovery.
These habits could include:
- Exercising regularly or taking part in fitness classes
- Having a healthy and consistent sleep routine
- Eating a balanced, healthy diet and making time for meals
- Filling your days with paid or volunteer work
Practicing these healthy habits and caring for yourself also helps you in the recovery process. Maintaining good mental and physical health makes it easier to avoid the negative thought patterns that can lead to relapse.
At the same time, your loved ones will be reassured that you are dedicated to overcoming your addiction and begin to put their trust in you again.
During your addiction, your actions may have deeply hurt your loved ones. It can take time for these memories and associations to subside and be replaced by positive feelings. It may be a while before your loved ones are ready to forgive you and move forward.
When you open communication with someone, let them take the time they need to respond. Don’t put pressure on someone to rebuild a relationship with you before they are willing and ready.
Being patient can be hard, but it is fundamental to the healing process. It allows you both to take the time needed to rebuild trust and ensure that the progress you both make is genuine and long-lasting.
Give Yourself the Time You Need Too
Some people are not ready to jump right into rebuilding their relationships as soon as they leave rehab. You may feel you have a lot to process and work out on your own first.
If you need some time before you begin to reach out to others, it’s ok to take it. Trying to regain someone’s trust when you are not in a place where you can handle any resistance or wariness can backfire. Wait until you feel ready to heal your relationships with loved ones so you can give it the energy it requires and deserves.