Addiction makes people display behaviors and say things they would not necessarily say or do without drugs and alcohol taking away their inhibitions. This may be the understanding you have come to realize in your own sobriety at least. You might be experiencing shame and guilt from what you put friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and loved ones through when you were under the influence.
Now you are unsure how to handle making things right because you have not made your way up to the Ninth Step of making amends yet. When you see someone regularly or there is a rift between you and a dear loved one, you may not know how to proceed in the relationship. What you need to do is consider a few aspects to understand when the best time to approach them is.
Be Upfront With Your Intentions
By confronting what your true objective is, you can see where your head will be when you try to resolve any differences. If your intent is with humility and kindness, you will probably be more successful. Anger and entitlement will get you nowhere when you are at fault for causing the disarray in a relationship. You need to know that supporting someone with an addiction can be a difficult relationship to navigate, so allow yourself to give grace and time to those who were there or who saw you through your addiction. By looking inwards, you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome by checking your intentions before you act.
Be Upfront With Your Therapist
There is no better person to speak to about this than a therapist, or a sponsor, who knows the whole story. Although they will probably only hear your side of the story, they still will know how to help you respond in these situations and give you some guidance as to how to handle them. Talking with someone who is advocating for you, with an unbiased opinion, can help you to gain the right perspective. Mapping out what you think you should say will help you to achieve clarity in what should really be offered in apologetic terms. You may need to wait. You may need to express your remorse immediately. Having a second opinion can make a huge difference in how you move forward in your relationship so you can try to do the right thing in sobriety.
Be Upfront in Your Step Work
You may not be at Step Nine just yet, but the 12-Steps will get you prepared to become the person you need to be. Learning about your sober self, and how to cope in recovery, will positively filter into other relationships if you let it. Accepting that the 12-Steps are in order for a reason will get you to look at your part in past situations. You should attempt to rightfully, not righteously, make amends for the harms you are making once you get to Step Nine. The word amend means “to change.” You must first demonstrate your transformation before you can offer proof that you are doing this for yourself and not just trying to get something from those you are making amends to.
Be Upfront With Yourself
A beneficial rule of thumb is to ask yourself what you want from this relationship and why it is important for you in the first place. You may still be seeking relationships that are toxic. If this is the case, you could be jeopardizing your sobriety to remain loyal to a relationship that is not in your best interest. Someone that enables you, criticizes you, rejects you, or uses you can have a negative effect on your recovery. Be honest with yourself about what the relationship is really about. Be strong with your self-love so that you will only let in people who encourage and support your recovery.
Be Upfront With Your Approach
When you find the right time to approach them, keep it simple. You may feel like you need to tell them everything that is on your mind. Use the method of asking these three questions: “Does it need to be said?”, “Does it need to be said by me?”, and “Does it need to be said by me right now?” Using this as a guideline can spare you agony later of wondering why you said what you said. Keep your statements simple, without blame, and then let them talk. Listening could reveal something that you did not know beforehand that can help you to move forward. Sometimes the best tool you have is to hear constructive truth, especially so you can continue exhibiting growth in your recovery.
Obviously, you should not put yourself in the line of fire for someone to yell, curse, or slander you just so that you can get them to forgive you. No matter what you have done, or how angry someone is with your actions in your addiction, you deserve to be treated like a human being like everyone else. Everyone makes mistakes and if you learn from them, you will foster responsibility much easier.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463