When you’re working to find recovery from substance abuse, one thing you’ll have to accept is you likely harmed friends and loved ones during your struggle with addiction. With that in mind, the recovering addict must also accept to find lasting recovery, you need to get those same loved ones to offer you a chance at finding atonement.
For the patient in recovery, the role of forgiveness in addiction recovery is paramount.
Addiction is often discussed in how it harms the addict, physically, mentally and emotionally, and the overall toll it has on the addict. But addiction doesn’t only harm the addict. It casts a long shadow over everyone in the addict’s life and can bring lasting harm and anguish to an addict’s friends and loved ones, as well.
In the thrall of addiction, an addict will primarily focus on their own needs to the exclusion of all other considerations. In seeking their next fix, they will frequently ignore their social networks and family ties. They’ll miss birthdays and anniversaries, show up late for long-planned social events and family functions. They’ll lie to cover their tracks, possibly steal when they need money for that next hit and overall let social ties atrophy in their single-minded focus on feeding their addiction.
This can put a serious strain on those relationships after the addict receives treatment and emerges from recovery trying to restore such ties to where they should have been without the scourge of substance abuse intervening.
After all, the addict may see their post-treatment life as a fresh start, but it can be hard for their friends and family to forget the slights and abuses they received from the former addict when they were still in the thrall of addiction.
It’s important the addict seek these people out and find forgiveness. It could be tempting to try and sweep past wrongs under the rug, to tell themselves that bygones are bygones and it would do more harm than good to dredge up old hurts. But that’s the recovering addict trying to avoid responsibility and take the easy way out.
True recovery requires the recovering addict to confront every aspect of the harm they caused via substance abuse, including that to friends and family. It will likely be hard. Some may not be willing to forgive right away. Some may never be able to forgive. But the addict must nevertheless seek that forgiveness and offer atonement for past wrongs to clear away the pain of the past.
And the addict mustn’t forget to offer that forgiveness to themselves. Self-compassion is also important and dwelling on your mistakes can do much more harm than good. Seek forgiveness, but give it yourself, too.
Good Landing Recovery can help the recovering addict with this part of their recovery and guide them through the process of finding healing and forgiveness in their life after addiction. Their Christian approach sees atonement and forgiveness as a vital part of recovery. Give them a call today and let them help you start that process now.