People in early recovery often raise some variation of the following issue at group sessions:
“I’ve been sober for 6 months and my mother still doesn’t trust me to be on my own. She thinks that if I spend a single day out of her sight I will pick up a bottle again.”
You cannot force trust; it will take time and patience to restore. Think back and try to understand how your drinking has affected your loved ones. They will need to process everything you have been through together and go through their own healing. While you walk through your recovery, don’t lose sight of these 3 important details to help you rebuild trust:
Accept and Forgive
Turn your focus inward and start work on bettering yourself. You should be practicing forgiveness with yourself and others, now is the time for healing. While it is true that rebuilding trust in recovery means taking a hard look at your own behavior, you need to realize that you cannot control the actions or reactions of others. You must learn to accept this because letting go of that control is an important step in your recovery.
The same is true about waiting for apologies from those who have wronged you. Forgive them, and move on.
Show. Don’t Just Tell
The old adage “Actions speak louder than words” may ring a bell. You have probably heard something similar from an addictions counselor. During recovery you must use actions, instead of just words, to start restoring trust.
Use every opportunity you can to show that your behavior has changed. Don’t expect immediate results, be patient and your loved ones will notice your positive pattern.
Some people will take longer to come around than others, and that’s okay. If they want to rekindle a relationship with you, they will do so on their own time.
Rebuilding trust in relationships takes time, but it will happen. Walk your road and lead by positive example. Your new patterns and habits will have incredible effects on your life and relationships.
About the Author
Kathleen Esposito is a certified addictions counselor in the Pacific Northwest. She helps individuals recover from drug, alcohol and gambling dependencies through group and individual therapy and regularly speaks at treatment centers.