Addiction is commonly referred to as a family disease because it not only affects the person going through active addiction, but also those closest to them. Family members and friends are often left feeling pain, hurt, sadness, anger or resentment. Seeing the impact that your disease has had on loved ones can cause you to feel alienated from your loved ones and even more guilty about your addiction. Relationships with family and friends can be worked on in recovery as part of a program of healing. As you learn to improve your interpersonal relationship skills, you can rebuild your relationships with those you care about who can support you in your recovery.
At ARC, we have built our treatment philosophy on the of the foundation of the 12-step fellowship. When you reach your Ninth Step with your sponsor, you will be asked to make amends to those that you hurt during your active addiction. This doesn’t mean issuing a simple “I’m sorry” and then the process is done. Making amends means showing your loved ones through your actions that you are genuinely sorry, are taking recovery seriously and want to earn their trust back. To make amends, you must first recognize the ways you hurt those you love. The next step is delivering a sincere apology and explaining what you are apologizing for. A discussion about what you can do to improve and repair the relationship follows. It is important to actively listen to the other person during this part. Finally, it is important to prove through your actions that you meant what you said and avoid making the same mistakes you did in the past.
Knowing Who to Make Amends With
While making amends is important, there are a few things to remember. Amends are made only when there is no potential harm to either party involved. This is often determined by you and your sponsor. Repairing a relationship with a person who may encourage you to use drugs and alcohol is an invitation to endanger your recovery. Remember that your recovery is your top priority. While it can be hard to lose old friends, they are not worth having in your life if they don’t want you to heal. Keep this in mind during the process of making amends.
Benefits of a Sober Support System
As you recover, remember to surround yourself with people who are going to support your recovery. Building a sober support network will help you immensely. Some benefits of a sober support system include:
- Accountability to stay sober
- Support for the tough days
- Ability to empathize because they know what you’ve been through
- Interest in engaging in sober activities together
- Tell you the truth when you need to hear it
- Give you advice for a sober routine
- Connections to other sober groups and treatment
At Authentic Recovery Center, we understand that it takes a village to help someone heal. As you learn the effects that your addiction has had on your loved ones, you can begin to identify and make amends for the pain you caused. Equally important is understanding which relationships are worth repairing as you work to build a network of friends and family that will support you in your sober life. ARC provides the guidance you need to learn how to make healthy choices that will support your wellness. Our Los Angeles-base program treats individuals suffering from dual diagnoses of substance abuse and related conditions. We support individuals of all genders, sexual orientations, and ethnicities and take pride in providing the best tailored care to members of the minority community. The treatment staff at ARC ensures that your detox, treatment, and recovery are tailored to your individual needs. For more information on healing your addiction and relationships, contact us at (866) 786-1376.