Photo credits: Ian D. Keating
Rebuilding Relationships For Successful Addiction Recovery
Relationships play a pivotal role in recovery because they provide a person with important constructs such as a sense of belonging, safety, security and provide a source optimism. People with a solid support system also experience less stress, a sense of purpose, and less feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Rebuilding and the recreation of social networks are important parts of a successful recovery. Your social group can include family, friend, co-workers, your religious community, neighbors, sports teams, or any group that shows support.
Social circles are helpful toward those recovering because they create a buffer from stress and provide emotional support. There is a large body of evidence has linked strong relationships with greater happiness, over-all health and longevity.
The following are ways to help you rebuild relationships, so you can be on your way to a successful recovery.
1. Grieve the loss: Your dependence upon an outside source may make you feel like you are losing a friend. Grieve the loss of your dependency and know you're making the right decision by separating yourself from harmful substances.
2. Join a support group: Those recovering from addiction have better recovery rates when they join a support group. Overcoming addiction with people who share your similar struggles will help you to not feel like you're the only one. Support groups also provide better guidance, and understanding.
3. Make amends: During your addiction, loved ones may have been hurt by your behavior. During your recovery, it important to begin rebuilding damaged relationships, if it is possible. You can begin rebuilding relationships with loved ones by keeping to your commitments to your loved ones and to your recovery. When people see that you are making positive steps towards a positive change, people are more apt to forgive your previous behavior and help you move forward. This may not work in all situations or with all your peers, but it is important to try and work towards making amends.
4. Cut negative ties: Misery loves company. Negative relationships will only push your recovery backwards. You must surround yourself with positive relationships and influences in order to move forward. This may mean cutting ties with some friends whom still participate in negative behavior, wish them the best and realize working towards recovery is your main goal. During recovery it is not advised to begin creating new romantic relationships, although it is good to have positive influences in your life during your recovery, new love relationships may be too much of a distraction, and will be better suited to occur at a later time.
5. Surf the net: The internet is filled with social support outlets and message boards where you can discuss your feelings and work through your recovery with others. Online forums may provide helpful relationship and the support you need to make it through when you feel like your current social support system is not as supportive as you need them to be. The internet is also filled with a lot of recovery apps to help you stay on track through daily affirmations and reminders.
6. Learn to be alone: Learning to be on your own can help your relationships with other people. It can be very rewarding to enjoy the pleasure of your own company and get to know yourself. Learning to be alone is not loneliness and can be a great tool in improving your confidence and developing boundaries.
7. Help others: Help yourself by helping others. Volunteer programs can provide many rewarding benefits and help you to build a sense of purpose. Focusing your energy on other people help to deflect energy on yourself and may provide you with momentary relief from your situation.
8. Try to maintain balance: Help yourself to find ways to keep your life in balance. You can slowly begin prioritizing and making positive changes in your family, work and school life and work towards balancing these aspects, which can help ease stress and help take back control in your life.
Beginning to rebuild your relationships will help you gain better control of your life. Social relationships can help to improve your mental health recovery by providing support and relief. It is important to let go of negative relationships in order to open up your life to positive relationship and change, which will aid you in your recovery.
Written by: Jenny Corteza
Please have a look at my own Recovery Stories from Alcoholism and Depression
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