Addiction is debilitating, and it can manifest in many different ways. Dependency upon a substance doesn’t just affect the person taking the substance, it affects everyone in their lives, both family and friends. Although addiction is a crippling disease, hope is not lost. At Restoration Recovery, we are here to help you and your loved ones get your life back on track.
Can you rebuild a broken relationship?
Addiction affects everyone involved, not just the individual with the addiction. A side effect of substance abuse is the isolation and damaging of relationships. Although relationships break down, they can be fixed. Here are a few steps one can take to repair a damaged relationship:
- Set realistic expectations — Recovery is a long process. However, any action taken towards rebuilding a relationship is a victory, and these small steps need to be celebrated.
- Try to separate the disease from the person — You wouldn’t blame a loved one if they had another chronic, relapsing illness. Addiction is a disease that affects the way a person thinks and reasons.
- Learn healthy communication methods — Effective communications techniques lower the risk of getting into petty disputes and teach people what to do if the conversation gets too heated.
- Eliminate unhealthy relationships — People in a recovering addict’s life who still use drugs and alcohol no longer have a place in their life. Neither do those who are, or have been, abusive towards the recoverer.
What does addiction mean?
Addiction is a complex condition. People with addiction have an enormous focus on using a certain substance to the point that it takes over their life. They keep using alcohol or drugs even when they know it will cause problems.
People can develop an addiction to:
- PCP and other hallucinogens
- Inhalants, such as paint thinners and glue
- Opioid pain killers, such as codeine and oxycodone, heroin
- Sedatives, hypnotics (sleep aids) and anxiolytics (anxiety medication)
- Cocaine, methamphetamine and other stimulants
- Tobacco and nicotine
People with a substance use disorder have altered thinking, behavior and body functions. Changes in how the brain is wired are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug.
These substances can cause harmful changes in how the brain functions. These changes can last long after the intoxication from the drug. Intoxication is the effects of the drug, causing intense pleasure, calmness, increased senses or euphoria. Intoxication symptoms are different for each substance.
How can I repair relationships after addiction?
Relationships require communication. The process of rebuilding relationships involves reopening those lines of communication. Let them know you sought help for your addiction and are working to piece your life back together and want to mend your relationship. Communicate this message in person, if possible. If that’s not an option, send a letter, an email – even a phone call or text message.
2. Ask for Forgiveness – And be Honest
If you’ve struggled with addiction, chances are, you’ve struggled with denial. In order to live without denial, you must acknowledge that you have made mistakes and in turn, hurt the people around you. Even if friends or family members are slow or hesitant to forgive, know that by apologizing and asking, you are freeing yourself from the guilt.
3. Be Active and Intentional
When people are not active within them, relationships suffer. If your marriage was damaged because of your absence or neglect, take the opportunity to spend more time with your spouse. If your relationship with your kids was minimized, take time to get involved in their lives and their interests. Show up for the baseball practice. Make surprise dinner reservations. Leave a handwritten card on the countertop. Be intentional.
4. Attend Meetings
Getting involved in support groups after rehab shows that you are serious about your sobriety. Support or advice from others in the same situation can go a long way and help keep you on track.
5. Don’t Expect a Change Immediately – and Be Prepared for some Resistance
It’s important to remember your friends, family, and colleagues didn’t go to rehab and didn’t have the same opportunity you had to heal themselves. While you were in treatment and recovering, they continued living the same way they did when you left. Don’t be surprised or offended when you are met with hesitation or resistance, and those around you don’t believe what you say, or don’t trust your actions.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, don’t lose hope. We are here to help. Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!