Addiction “hijacks” the brain – that is, the chemicals in drugs often mimic those in the brain, causing the brain to produce more of the neurotransmitter dopamine (the “feel good” chemical). When this occurs, previous priorities often go out the window, and all a person can think about is bringing back those good feelings again – which involve using the substance again. If you’ve struggled with addiction in the past, you may have done or said some things you can’t even remember – for many people, recovery means learning of the lies, stealing, manipulation, and abuse that occurred when substances were involved. As one can imagine, these types of behaviors are a sure-fire way to break some valuable bonds between friends and family.
If you’re currently in addiction recovery, you have made it to a place where pain can heal and true transformation can take place. It will take some time, but it is possible to build those connections back with those you’ve hurt in the past. A lot of it does have to do with them being ready to forgive and move forward – but there are several steps that you can take on your part.
- Take responsibility – part of recovery means understanding and accepting responsibility for the actions you’ve taken in the past. This can be difficult, but it’s important to express to your loved ones that you know and realize the extent to which you’ve harmed them.
- Apologize – while an apology alone may not sound like it can do a lot, it really can. Sometimes people need to know that you feel remorse and that you would take the pain away if you could.
- Give them space – when a lot of damage has been done, sometimes what is needed most is time and space. If you’ve previously tried to recover and have been unsuccessful, your loved ones may not be trusting that this time things will be different. In this instance, your actions speak louder than words. Show them it’s different.
- Accept how they feel – your loved ones may have a lot of anger and hurt right now, and it’s important to accept those feelings from them.
- Work hard – one of the best ways to show your loved ones that you’re on the road to recovery for good is to show them slowly but surely, over time. Focus on your healing and growth. Attend meetings. Use the resources you have. The rest may fall into place later on.
Transform your life, inside and out as you find freedom from addiction. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, we’re helping men create the sustainable changes necessary to build a sustainable recovery. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138