During active addiction, lying (about finances, whereabouts, etc.) can be common as a person focuses mainly on pursuing his or her substance of choice. The major consequence is an erosion of trust between the person with a substance use disorder and the loved ones who have been hurt as a result.
It's understandable that there building of trust is no small feat when a person chooses to seek recovery. Here are four ways to help repair broken trust after addiction:
- Show; Don’t Tell: We can’t say it enough. Words are irrelevant when it comes to proving one’s ability to be trusted after a long history of deceit. Family and friends have heard the apologies before. They’ve heard the pleas for second chances. They’ve heard the excuses and rationalizations. Now it’s time to show them how you’ve changed. Unsure of how to begin? Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous contain a wealth of knowledge about how to become active in recovery.
- Be Accountable: Keep commitments that you make, show up on time and tell the truth. If you make a mistake, own it. Doing these things consistently will help you earn the trust you are seeking and will provide you with the satisfaction of knowing you are becoming a person with integrity.
- Practice Acceptance: This is about learning to “trust the process.” Yes, you want to see results right away. But regaining trust takes time. (As quoted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkenness would make a skeptic out of anyone.”) By accepting this reality rather than fighting against it, you will free up some of your energy/resources to continue building a strong recovery.
- Enlist Help: Especially early in recovery, you might be uncertain about how to make good decisions or what actions to take. You will be well served by working with a sponsor (someone whose recovery embodies the qualities you want for yourself) to help guide you. Additionally, working with a therapist trained in treating substance use disorders can be extremely beneficial.
Patience is essential when embarking on the journey of recovery and working to regain trust. The relationships that matter most, however, are entirely worth the time and effort.
If you or a loved one could benefit from addiction treatment, First Step Recovery can help. Contact us today at 330-369-8022.