In active addiction, people tend to severely damage the trust in relationships with friends and family. Lying, manipulating, and stealing are common behaviors of someone misusing substances. These behaviors can destroy the foundation upon which a healthy relationship is built. This can make rebuilding trust after getting into recovery a very difficult task. The following are some tips for rebuilding trust with friends and loved ones while in early recovery.
Patience is recommended when re- establishing trust in a relationship. This is a process; not a given. Having a plan of action can foster more credibility as loved ones recognize that the recovering individual is embodying accountability. Being answerable to a person or community of people can be very useful in re-establishing trust. Honesty about past indiscretions is also recommended. This is difficult as it can produce more shame, but the vulnerability indicated in the disclosure can be pivotal in re-establishing honest connection. Making direct amends and living amends are very helpful in this process as well.
Restoring justice to negative circumstances created in active addiction, and living in a new way that is true to a system of individualized values speak volumes about the recovering person’s integrity and credibility. Proving to be trustworthy over time is evidenced by actions rather than intentions. Each fulfilled obligation on the part of the recovering individual reveals responsibility as a newfound value.
Patience and tolerance of the process of rebuilding trust is indicated. This can take a substantial amount of time because it is genuine and real. Once the trust is re-established, it is the responsibility of the recovering individual to protect and honor what it stands for. At AToN Center, we aid in this process by completing family outreach calls and family sessions during treatment. The support of family and friends is key in the recovery process of the people we serve at AToN. Human connection is essential in this healing process.
Kate Judd, MS, CADC II
AToN Center 888-535-1516