Addiction is destructive. It destroys all aspects of our lives. Physical. Mental. Spiritual. Relational. Most of the destruction is internal, be it our bodies or our mind. But relational damage is external. Addiction affects those that we interact with on a day-to-day basis. Everyone.
Think of it – addiction affects your relationship with your parents, spouse, siblings, children, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces. Addiction affects your friendships, employers, co-workers, and may even affect people who you meet in passing.
In our addictions, we lose sight of those around us. We forget that we have responsibilities. We become so focused on obtaining our drug and using that we lie, steal, cheat, and even become violent. We create financial disasters for ourselves. We may even be arrested for what we do.
We become burdens upon those around us, causing fear, resentment, anger, and distrust. And at the end of it all when we hit our “bottom”, we feel utterly alone and unlovable. In our addictions, we’ve got a lot of damage control to do. But there is hope.
If you’re in this situation now, you may feel like there is no way to repair all the damage you’ve done. It may really hit home as you sit with your sponsor and begin our step work. Keep reminding yourself though, you’re rebuilding your life. You will be making your amends and righting the wrongs of your past. Through the process of recovery, you are becoming the person who you want to be.
It takes time to repair relationships. It takes time to rebuild trust. But ultimately, those you love don’t hate you, they just don’t like your behavior. They don’t want to live life without you, just without the broken promises, hurt feelings, and deception that addicts and alcoholics often display.
Repairing relationships takes time. In the beginning, there will be a significant lack of trust built upon past behavior. As you progress in your step work, you’ll be beginning the process of making the changes within yourself that will be the basis of this repair. You’ll be working on removing the character defects that have damaged your relationships and making amends to those you’ve hurt along the way. Some people may be ready and willing to forgive immediately, while for some it may take time. The most important part of the entire process though is that you continue your forward growth in recovery without slipping back into “old behavior”.
If you’re deep into your step work and still struggling, you may want to seek additional advice from your sponsor, or even a professional counselor or clergyperson. Many people have been hurt because of your addiction, and that includes yourself. Your best recourse is to focus on “cleaning your side of the street”. After all, you can’t change anyone else. You can only change yourself.
A Work in Progress is here to help you. We can help you discover yourself again and offer advice and guidance as you go through the learning process. We can help you get on the road to restoring your damaged relationships.
Give us a call today to see how we can help you. We’re available at (818) 633-1719, or find us on the web at www.aworkinprogresshome.com.