Rebuilding Trust Following Addiction

Trust is a very delicate and sensitive issue. It is something that is easily broken. This is a challenge that many clients in addiction recovery struggle with. While in active addiction, you may have lost the trust of close family or friends as your focus became more about drugs and alcohol and other responsibilities were pushed to the wayside. Once in recovery, you can begin to rebuild these relationships and slowly redevelop the trust that was broken. Remember that repairing trust takes time; it is not something that happens overnight.

Learning to forgive yourself is one step toward creating trust. Stop blaming yourself for everything that happened in the past. It is done and you can’t change it, but you can change how you act moving forward. Realize that everyone makes mistakes and you are not the same person that you used to be. You have changed and evolved, just like those around you. Before you can expect others to trust you, you must have trust in yourself, so forgive yourself and embrace your new lifestyle in recovery.

Another step toward rebuilding trust is following through with what you say you will do. Your words are not enough; you must use your actions as well to let others see that when you say you will be at an event or will take the trash out when you get home, that you actually follow through and do it. People can say that they will do anything, but trust is developed when they are true to their word.

Start small and set yourself up for success. Take on responsibilities that you know you can handle and slowly work your way up to larger or more complex tasks. As you get more involved and become more comfortable in your recovery, you can challenge yourself with more responsibility. Just remember that your well-being should remain a priority and you should avoid situations that may put you at risk for relapse or temptation.

Honesty is another element of trust. Open up to your loved ones and let them know what you’re thinking and feeling. Keeping everything bottled up inside is not healthy for anyone and can make you seem as though you’re hiding something, which can slow the development of trust. No one is perfect, so if you’re worried about trying something new, are hesitant to go back to a certain restaurant, or are beginning to feel stressed, share these feelings. Let others support you and help you along the way.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. You don’t have to take on the world on your own. Admitting that you need help and trusting others can give them more trust in you.

Building trust is a process and it takes time – for both you and your loved ones. Depending on the past, it may take you longer to repair your relationships with some people than with others. You may realize that some relationships are unhealthy and you need to cut ties while others help you to become a better person. Believe in yourself and continue doing what you know is right. Focus on your recovery plan and receiving the support you need to move forward in sobriety and make positive changes.

Outpatient treatment and therapy groups at Crossroads can help you to stay on track with your addiction recovery and reinforce the skills and strategies you need to build healthier relationships. Continue growing your support system and knowing who you can turn to for guidance with ongoing participation in these services. Remember who you wanted to be by overcoming addiction and creating a thriving lifestyle in recovery at Crossroads.

[cta]Leave a comment and let us know strategies you’ve found helpful for rebuilding trust. [/cta]