How Can I Rebuild Trust After Addiction?

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Trust is a core component of all kinds of relationships and something that can become compromised as a result of addiction. Addiction to drugs or alcohol can cause an individual to act against their own best interests, profoundly affecting one’s friends, family, and loved ones as much as oneself. 

Rebuilding trust with the important people in one’s life is a significant step in the recovery process and can be a testament to the transformation one is making on their journey. However, it is also a complicated process that can seem daunting, making it difficult to know where to start. Rebuilding trust is challenging but also possible. 

Acknowledge the Past

It can be impossible to garner trust again if an individual is not willing to admit to mistakes or listen to how one’s actions may have impacted others. Confronting one’s past mistakes made while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be one of the most challenging parts of recovery. This is due to the fact that one must reconcile the impact addiction has had on their life while confronting feelings of guilt, shame, and regret that often accompany this step in recovery. However, this can be an even more significant hurdle when hearing about these actions from a loved one. 

Acknowledging the past can take a number of different forms. This can start with not shying away from these conversations or allowing loved ones to talk about how addiction has affected them without defending or sidestepping one’s behaviors. It is a complicated process. 

However, acknowledging the past also comes with a silver lining. By being able to confront one’s past mistakes, it can create a starting point in one’s recovery as one acknowledges the mistakes made and the progress and accomplishments of one’s recovery as a whole. Being open to both ends of this dialogue is essential in creating a base of honesty in which to begin rebuilding trust. 

Take the Necessary Time

Healing takes time. Recovery is a long-term effort, and the important people in one’s life may need just as much time to process their feelings and experiences throughout addiction. While it can be frustrating to step back and allow others to heal, it is also necessary. 

Trying to force others to relinquish feelings of guilt or resentment before they are emotionally prepared to do so can adversely affect the situation, further sowing distrust or causing an unnecessarily stressful atmosphere. Talking about one’s experiences and acknowledging one’s mistakes can be difficult, but it is also important to step back and allow loved ones to process their own perspective as well. Situating oneself as a figure of support for them can also continue allowing loved ones to process at their own rate.

Practice Service and Selflessness

Recovering trust begins with establishing one’s new identity and life skills. It is essential to actively cultivate a new, healthy lifestyle alongside one’s family and loved ones. Taking on new hobbies can illustrate how an individual is distancing themselves from their past behaviors, and taking on acts of service can establish a new, more trustworthy identity. 

Some may try adopting household chores and routines or cleaning and aiding in daily responsibilities. Others prefer to provide personalized, intimate gifts that show how one’s sobriety has been affected by loved ones. Doing so can help open an honest and transparent dialogue that highlights one’s newfound sober practices. 

However, while performing these acts of service can be powerful, they must also be genuine. An individual should approach them as a tool for rebuilding trust and as an essential part of their continued personal development in equal measure. Continuing to hold oneself accountable for these actions regardless of the situation is vital.

Involve Them in Plans for the Future

Looking to the past can be part of the healing process for a family unit. However, looking to the future can also create a profound image of how one wants to reestablish a feeling of trust with one’s family in sobriety. Inviting loved ones to new hobbies or creating new traditions alongside family members can demonstrate how they are looking to the future just as much as the past. 

Feeling included and needed can be a great way to illustrate dedication to one’s continued sobriety while incorporating the people that are most important to those navigating their profound and personal transformation. Talking about plans, adapting them in response to familial input, and continuing to strive for future sober goals can create an air of positivity and responsibility that is crucial to establishing trust throughout the addiction recovery process. 

Rebuilding trust after addiction can be the most daunting part of recovery. At Everlast Recovery Centers, we understand the crucial transformation that addiction recovery entails and the difficulties that lie along the path. Your time with us can be personalized to fit your unique needs and goals in sobriety, all while working to help individuals and families alike reach towards a healthier and forward-focused future. Art, music, writing, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and much more are all ready for you to begin your journey to sobriety, alongside family programs to help entire families learn and heal from addiction together. Our homey and accepting atmosphere is also filled with supportive peers and professionals, allowing you to detach from your stresses and focus on your own sober goals. For more information on how we can help you and your family, or to speak to a caring, trained staff member about your unique situation, call us today at (866) 388-6925.

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