Can Recovery Bring Trust Back With Family Members?
It is so easy to lose everything you have ever had in your life while in active addiction. You most likely put your life and safety at risk many times, came in and out of the hospital, lost all of your money and your home, and burnt nearly every bridge with your loved ones. I know I sure did. I lost every piece of myself that made me who I was. My family members wanted nothing to do with me. Not only was I stealing and manipulating them, but they couldn’t stand to see who I had become and watch me slowly kill myself because of my addiction. I was not the only one suffering from my addiction. My family members were suffering too. My parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins never knew when they would finally get that phone call that I was no longer alive. Addiction has a way of hurting everyone in its path. It wasn’t until I got sober and regained my life in recovery that I was able to regain trust with my family and with myself.
Recovery Helps the Healing Process from Active Addiction
Losing trust with my family members was only one of the casualties as a result of addiction. The tricky thing about trust is that it is much easier to lose it than it is to gain it back after you are in recovery. It took time, patience, persistence, and effort to rebuild the trust that I lost while battling addiction. Having your family trust in you again is a privilege and not a right. So don’t expect the trust to come back as soon as you get sober. Keep in mind all of the pans you put them through as well when you begin to feel impatient that they aren’t giving you the trust you feel you deserve. I had to constantly ask myself “Do I even trust me right now?”. The great thing about recovery is that it is 100% possible to bring the trust back with your family members. It starts with your actions, so trust the process and put in the effort and it will come back. For me, it took months for my family to genuinely trust me again.
Once I was in a sober state of mind, I became very reflective of my actions and my irresponsible behaviors. I became aware of what I put my family members through as a result of my addiction. I was looking forward to rebuilding the trust I took for granted. I found a few things that helped me, and they can help you too.
Working Toward an Honest and Open Relationship
If you are anything like me, there is a good chance you got good at lying to your family and did whatever you had to do to keep your addiction secret safe. Now that you are in recovery, it is time to quit lying. Bring honesty back into the relationship with your family. Not only should you be honest with them to help regain the trust, but also when you share your fears and hopes with them, you will have that much-needed support that is so vital to a healthy recovery. My family chose to act as my backbone and keep me hungry for recovery even when I had lost the strength to do it myself. The goal is a mutual appreciation of one another that only comes from unfiltered honesty, even when it is difficult to do. Honesty is always the best solution no matter what, we view honest as a priority in fixing relationships affected by addiction.
Take Responsibility For Your Choices and Your Life
When my family saw me actively taking steps towards rebuilding my own life by taking responsibility for my actions, while in active addiction and recovery, they became that much more willing to accept me back into their good graces. Trust will come if they can forgive you for what you put them through. I did this by first accepting responsibility, acknowledging the pain I cause, and apologizing for hurting my family.
This is not an easy thing to do and they probably won’t forgive you overnight, but this is a great way to start healing the wounds. Apologies are empty if there are no actions behind them. Utilize every day to continue to grow and show them you are no longer the manipulative person you once were.
Communication is Always the Key
Once in recovery, it is so important to keep an open line of communication with your loved ones. I found this personally to be difficult because I was so far away from my family members. It is easy to get swept up in your new life in recovery and forget about the ones that love you most, but take the time to show gratitude for them and talk with them frequently. Don’t leave them wondering what is going on with you and if you are okay. Understandably, they assume you are using it again if you aren’t communicating. This will never help in your quest to rebuild trust.
Recovery and rebuilding trust takes action, time, and effort 100% of the time. These few things above helped my family to trust me again. Today we have a better relationship than we ever have because I never stopped putting in work. Even to this day. Remember to give them time and space while you continue to work. The trust will come back if you can trust in the process. Evoke Wellness MA is here to help you built trust back by taking the first step and finding a recovery program for you.