One of the greatest curses of drug addiction and alcoholism is the impact that it invariably has on our relationships with family and our loved ones. Conversely, one of the greatest aspects of recovery is mending and regaining these relationships for which we cherish so much.
This does not, however, happen overnight. It typically comes as the result of our hard work in recovery and on ourselves. Here we offer some advice for those seeking to reconnect with their family and loved ones in early sobriety.
First thing’s first
There is a reason that the slogan “first thing’s first” is so commonly heard in the rooms of recovery. It is to remind us that the first thing we need to take care of before we can worry about anything else is our own sobriety. This applies very much to the relationships we have with our loved ones as well. For the reality is, we will not be able to have meaningful relationships with others until we are firmly rooted in our sobriety.
Action speaks louder than words
Usually by the time we reach recovery, we have apologized more times in our past than we could possibly even count. The truth is, by the time we reach recovery most of our loved ones are desensitized to anything we might say. If we are to be honest, could we really blame them?
What this means is that we must speak to our loved ones through our actions before we have gained their trust back. The old saying that “action speaks louder than words” is particularly true for those of us in early sobriety.
Time takes time
Another simple slogan that is often heard around the rooms of recovery is that “time takes time”. While this may sound silly, the truth is it packs a powerful message for those of us in early sobriety.
The reality of our situation is that it is going to take time for our relationships with out loved ones to heal. And the amount of time it is going to take is almost never going to be in the time frame we wish.
It is important to always remember that the very least we can do for our loved ones is to give them however much time they need to heal, while we continue to work on our sobriety and recovery.
We cannot control how other people feel
An invaluable lesson in which we must learn early on in sobriety is that we have absolutely no power to control how other people feel. This is one of the core messages behind the Serenity Prayer that is always heard in the rooms of recovery. Our desire in early sobriety will often be to fix the relationships with our loved ones by any means possible, but this is not only impractical – it simply is not our right.
We simply cannot control the feelings of our loved ones, and should never attempt to when trying to reconnect with our loved ones in early sobriety.
The time will come to make proper amends
Another common desire in early recovery is to try to fix everything that went wrong in our relationships with our loved ones during our addictions. This is not only dangerous to our sobriety; it is also unfair to our loved ones. We must trust and have faith that the right time will come to give our loved ones proper amends for our past actions.
After all the broken apologies we invariably have given our loved ones in the past, we owe it to them to make proper amends once we are in the right place in our recovery to do so.
The Lodges is the premier Orange County sober living and structured living community for men and women who are either in the early stages of recovery or transitioning from primary care. We understand the need for a structured and safe environment for individuals who need the added encouragement on their journey. If you or a loved one is seeking sober living in beautiful Orange County please call us at (866)-610-4480 or visit us online.