Substance abuse ruins lives. From the individual experiencing addiction to the loved ones, there can be a lot to navigate. If you have been through the process of addiction recovery, making amends and healing the hurt that has been caused is a key part of recovery. So how do you make amends in an open and honest way and reconnect with your family after addiction?
This is the first port of call. If you can show your family that you are dedicated to kicking this addiction once and for all, you are going to show them that you are serious about your health but this also communicates to them you are ready for the next phase of your life.
Seeking Professional Help
This is not just for you but for the family as well. This is something that we could all do as part of the healing process. It’s not easy because many family members may already be holding onto the hurt that has built up. If the loved one hasn’t had counseling or emotional help, this is very likely because they have had issues to work through, which is why family therapy could help.
Reaching Out in Little Ways
If we caused a lot of hurt to our loved ones, we need to show them that we take our recovery seriously. It may be unrealistic to think that you will be how you used to be. However, reaching out in little ways can be a good way to start building those bridges again. If you reach out to someone, they will want to know that you are doing it openly and honestly rather than to meet your needs. For example, if you broke their trust, you can’t expect them to necessarily reply to a text or answer the phone, which may be why you need to tell them you have gone through the addiction recovery process and you are now understanding how you hurt their feelings. Ownership over your mistakes is so important, especially if you’re trying to show the people you care about that you are a changed person.
Be Prepared To Work for Their Affection
Anybody who’s been hurt by your actions is naturally going to feel “once bitten, twice shy.” You have to understand they are protecting themselves as much as they are protecting you. It’s important for you to put in the dedication and realize that they may take time to come around. Getting yourself into the best shape possible will send a very clear message to them. You may be desperate to get a load of things off your chest and apologize, but you also need to honor their boundaries. If they’re not willing to meet in person, you may want to start with a text conversation or even just send a letter. It may take time, but addiction is something that can tear families apart. Even if you are ready to show them you have come a long way, you have to honor the fact that they may not be prepared yet.