How Do I Repair Relationships Broken Due to My Substance Misuse?

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When you struggle with substance misuse, you can hurt those around you without ever intending to. This can be done through words, actions, and broken trust. In the moment, it may feel as if all hope is lost, but the truth is that you can repair relationships broken due to substance misuse through hard work and practicing patience. 

The first step in beginning to repair relationships is to take active steps to get sober and stay sober. This involves going to a professional treatment facility. At Pathways Recovery Center, we offer a residential treatment program that helps to treat all aspects of addiction, including the physical, mental, and emotional factors. 

What Causes the Need to Repair Relationships in Recovery?

When you are in active addiction, you might feel as if you're in a sort of bubble. You may be so focused on obtaining and using drugs or alcohol that you're not really thinking about how things you are doing may be impacting those around you. It is often not until after you've gotten sober that you see the true effect that your substance use had upon your relationships and those you love. Then, you're able to take a step back and truly get a fresh perspective. 

In order to begin to repair relationships in recovery, you have to first acknowledge the harm you did. Often in these cases, it is a matter of letting others down. Maybe you struggled to keep up with personal or professional obligations that caused others to have to pick up your slack. Or maybe you weren't there for those you love during times when they needed you. 

It's also possible that you broke others' trust as a result of your substance use. Perhaps you told them you need to borrow money to pay for bills but then turned around and used it to purchase drugs or alcohol, only for them to later find out. Maybe you even put someone you love in danger while engaging in substance use. This can cause them to no longer feel as if they can trust you. 

When trust is broken in a relationship, it can be difficult to restore it. However, through your own dedication, it is very much possible to earn forgiveness. 

How Do I Begin to Repair Relationships in Recovery?

The best thing that you can do to show others that you're truly sorry for your past mistakes is to prove to them that you're dedicated to your recovery. This can start by going through the detox process and initial treatment at a facility such as Pathways Recovery Center. 

After going through such a program, you can begin long-term treatment by keeping up with things like 12-Step support group meetings and/or therapy sessions. Showing that you are dedicated to maintaining your sobriety is important. It can help those you love start to be able to trust you again. 

What Should I Do Next to Repair Relationships in Recovery?

Once you are firmly on your path of recovery, you can then begin to have the difficult but necessary conversations with your loved ones. During these conversations, you allow them the opportunity to share with you how your substance use affected them. You can listen to them and hear where they are coming from. It can also be a chance for you both to have an open dialogue as you work to figure out what needs to be fixed in order to repair the relationship and get it to be as strong as it once was. During these conversations, it is important that you allow your loved one to speak their truth, even if the truth can sting at times. 

Once you've had these conversations and are clear about what steps you need to take to make things right with your loved one, make sure to carry through with them. Don't forget to check in with your loved ones on a regular basis. Ensure that what you're doing is allowing for progress to be made. 

Will I Be Able to Repair Relationships in Recovery Right Away?

You don't want to expect to be forgiven right away and for everything to just go back to how it was before. Some family members and friends may need some time and space before they are able to open up to you and trust you again. Make sure not to push them beyond what they are comfortable with, but continue to stay patient. Healing can take time.

In the meantime, do whatever else you can to make amends toward those you've harmed. This could include paying back money that was borrowed or stolen. It could also involve repairing damaged property or picking up extra responsibilities at work or home to make up for those you've neglected. Continue to put in the work to mend your relationships and protect your sobriety.

If you're currently engaging in active substance use, you may feel as if you're all alone. Perhaps people who you thought would be by your side aren't right now. If you have damaged relationships with those you love as a result of your substance use, there is hope. Relationships can be repaired, and healing can occur. However, in order for these relationships to be mended, you must first take care of yourself by seeking treatment for your addiction. Our team at Pathways Recovery Center near Pasadena, California, can help walk you through the process of detox and treatment. Don't wait. Give us a call at (888) 771-0966 today to learn more. 

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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