Substance abuse and addiction heavily impact the lives of addicts. It takes a heavy toll on their bodies and minds. But while they get the brunt of it, the entire situation also affects the people around them.
As the addict’s loved one, you have to watch them destroy their lives with substances. You have to take care of them and help them when things get too serious. They might lose your trust in the long run. Addiction is a difficult condition that essentially alters a person.
But you don’t have to cut ties with them. If anything, they need you more now, especially when they begin their journey to recovery.
While it may be difficult, with plenty of challenges along the way, this article will show you how to trust a recovering addict and how you can have a healthy relationship with them.
3 Ways Addiction Can Destroy Relationships
They become distant and isolate themselves.
Addiction greatly affects your behaviors and social life, which can destroy your relationships.
It can take the person’s mind away from their responsibilities and loved ones. They become so consumed by their addiction that all they think about is the drug– when they’ll get to take it again, how much they’ll take, and where it will come from.
That leads to isolating and distancing themselves. You’ll see less and less of them. If you don’t know what’s happening, this can simply lead to you drifting apart.
They become deceptive.
Addicts know what they’re doing is wrong, but they still continue taking the drugs even though it’s destroying their lives.
To hide their activities, they start to come up with lies about what they’re doing. They could be making excuses as to why they can’t hang out anymore. Or lies about why they need money. When you find out the truth, it’s natural to be wary of them now. You may even lose your trust in them. It can be challenging to learn to trust a recovering addict again.
They lose your support.
Recovering addicts will most likely receive support from their loved ones while in rehab. However, this is a long and difficult journey for both parties. Sometimes, people’s patience runs thin. If this happens to you, you might stop supporting them.
In other cases, recovering addicts will get plenty of love and support when they start their recovery but might lose that if they relapse. Their loved ones and support system might lose faith in them and think that they weren’t trying hard enough to get better.
4 Ways To Rebuild Relationships After Addiction
This is the first step to rebuilding any relationship. Many recommend that recovering individuals should make the first move to show how serious they are with their sobriety. But it is understandable that they may be scared or embarrassed to reconnect. They might think that you don’t want to.
So, if they haven’t yet, you should reach out. That shows that you are open to having them in your life again, that you want to be in theirs, and that you want to help and be part of their healing journey.
Remember, they are not their addiction.
The things that you heard about your loved one are not true– how they lacked values or morals, how they’re a menace to society, and that they will stay that way forever.
Those are not true. They were just the results of brain changes caused by the substances.
Addiction is a disease, and a disease does not make a person. When you learn to separate the two and see the person again, this is how to regain trust in a recovering drug addict.
Set reasonable expectations and healthy boundaries.
Addiction and recovery are life-changing events, so things may not return to what they used to be. Understand that it will take time to reconnect with them.
Moreover, you must set boundaries. Yes, you can trust a recovering addict, but they may have their “tendencies” when in recovery. If you become too open too soon, they might lie to you again or even steal. When this happens, it’s back to square one.
Don’t rush things, and be firm. Know that these limits will help and help rebuild your relationship with them in the long run.
Communication is key.
Communication is vital in life, especially in relationships and recovery. Unfortunately, addiction can strain communication, making recovery even more difficult. Here’s what you can do to improve and strengthen communication with your loved one:
- Think about what you want to communicate. There may be times when the moment is hot, and words may break or build the relationship. Pause and think, “What will happen if I say this?”
- Talk from the first-person point of view. Using “I” statements won’t make the other person feel attacked. Let them know that this is what you feel and not what you think they feel.
It’s okay to feel like you don’t trust the individual recovering. But you should know that even if they are in a bad situation, they are not a bad person. When you learn how to trust a recovering addict, and with the right kind of support and enough love, they can recover. And you will have a healthy, maybe even stronger, relationship in the end.
Do you want to start your journey of healing and recovery? Turn to Oregon Trail Recovery. You can visit us at 10600 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Suite 207, Milwaukie, OR 97222, contact us at 844-692-7528 or visit our website.