How to Make Amends in Recovery

Recovery is a fluid process and a standard or luxury drug detox is just the beginning. Along with fighting a physical dependence, recovering addicts often find themselves left to handle several secondary issues that arose as a result of their addiction, including relationship problems. In order to heal and find lasting recovery, one of the next steps for these recovering addicts involves making amends in recovery with those who they wronged.

8 Steps to Make Amends in Recovery

Because addicts make it a habit to put their addictions first, their relationships with loved ones often become cracked, broken, or destroyed altogether. Trust is broken, toxic relationships can form, and in the worst cases, relationships can be ruined forever. After getting sober, the time is now to try and make amends in addiction recovery so that not all of these relationships are lost.

Step 9 of the 12 Steps from Alcoholics Anonymous involves making amends in recovery to people that you hurt while you were an addict, but this may be easier said than done. Apologies are not always easy, and if you are in early recovery, you may not know where to begin. As a luxury Florida drug rehab, we have worked with several people who are struggling to fix their broken relationship, so we are sharing some tips on how to make amends in recovery so that both you and your loved ones can move forward.

1.     Take Time to Reflect

Before you can apologize, you need to take the time to reflect on who you hurt and how while you were an addict. Taking this time for self-reflection can also open your eyes to the damage that your addiction has done and keep you from ever going back.

2.     Accountability

Along with tallying up your wrongdoings, it is important to take ownership for them. While it may be tempting to use your addiction as an excuse, you still did these things and you are still responsible for the hurt you caused while under the influence. Once you take accountability for these actions, you can offer a sincere apology and continue to work on yourself.

3.     Apologize

This part of making amends in addiction recovery may be the most challenging for some. Telling someone that you are sorry may be difficult and even seem obvious, but it still needs to be said. Not only can it help your loved one heal, but it can also leave you feeling like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

4.     Take Action

Saying you are sorry alone is often not enough. Especially if your relationships were seriously damaged, you need to show your loved ones that you have, in fact, changed. Actions speak louder than words, so make sure your actions reflect your apology.

5.     Be Patient

Forgiveness takes time, especially if trust was broken. You should not expect your loved ones to forgive you immediately or for your relationships to magically heal overnight. Continue to prove to your loved ones that you have changed, and they will eventually forgive you. If you are struggling to get there, we offer group therapy for family members of addicts and the addict.

6.     Leave it Alone

The point of making amends in recovery is to help those that you once hurt. If someone doesn’t want to hear from you or reaching out could hurt them more, it may be better to leave it alone. With time, they may become willing to hear your apology, but for now, this may do them more harm than good. You should respect their wishes and let them come to you in the future if they decide to do so.

7.     Forgive Yourself

A lot of recovering addicts still feel guilty even after apologizing. While it is important to ask for forgiveness from those you hurt, it is also important to forgive yourself if you want to move forward. You are not the same person you were when you were an addict, so give yourself a little bit of slack and focus on being a better person.

8.     Stay Accountable

Just because you apologized, doesn’t mean you get off scot free. Everybody makes mistakes, but part of the recovery process is self-improvement, and this includes staying accountable for your actions. Continue to be mindful of how your behaviors and actions affect others and apologize when necessary.

Successful and lasting sobriety is about comprehensive recovery. At Seaside Palm Beach, we help our patients with everything from how to make amends in recovery to dealing with addiction triggers. If you or a loved one is battling a substance abuse problem, do not wait any longer to get help. Reach out to us today at 561-677-9374 to learn more.

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