A common struggle I see with the residents at the AToN Center is the trust deficit that often develops between themselves and their family, friends or co-workers. Maintaining an addiction over any period of time often means a person becomes deceptive, withdrawn, inconsistent or even hostile. The addiction demands one’s energy, attention and time. Therefore relationships often suffer and do not get attention they deserve. It can be a painful step to become more honest about the control that the addiction has asserted in your life. This may even mean acknowledging to those in your life that you had made a quiet decision to put the drugs or alcohol ahead of these relationships. However, once a person acknowledges the power of the addiction to themselves, they can then start to rebuild honest and open relationships with others. At times this can be a very difficult process as those around you may be skeptical or doubtful of your efforts. But with a good dose of humility you can see these suspicions as a healthy challenge. If they are saying “I don’t believe you” then you can focus on “I will work to earn your trust by behaving in a trustworthy manner.” This way you can take ownership of the addiction, your previous behaviors and work towards building healthy relationships again.
Chad K. Cox, PsyD