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RECOnnecting: Tips to Help You Repair Relationships

It’s important that your time in treatment fills you with resolve to make things right in your life, because coming back to the mess you left behind can look like walking into a war zone. Your job, finances, living situation, and personal relationships may have all suffered from your addiction; now that you’re sober, you can get to work on repairing some of that damage. One of the most important areas to focus on healing will be your relationships.

Your friends, family, and romantic partner may or may not fully understand the depths of your addiction or the intensity of what you’ve gone through in getting sober. To fix your relationships, you’ll have to be honest with them about what you’re dealing with, be vulnerable about how important they are to you, and take responsibility for the ways your addiction has affected them in the past. With patience, consistency, and humility, you will hopefully be able to rebuild your relationships upon foundations of trust and acceptance that are stronger than you had before and walk forward into a new future surrounded by people who care about you.

Above All, Be Honest

When you first reconnect with people after you return from treatment, let yourself be vulnerable with them by being honest about where you were, what you were doing, and who you hope to now be. Addiction is often intertwined with high levels of dishonesty and sneaky behavior, which can seriously damage other people’s trust in you. Opening up to them about your problems and how you’re addressing them will give them reason to understand who you were before, feel more able to trust you now, and allow them to hold you accountable to your new values.

Some people may place you in a sort of unspoken probationary period in their own minds, paying attention to your progress to determine whether they can trust you again. Don’t take this personally–you’re making amends right now. Nobody owes you their trust or friendship. Just do the best you can to earn those things, stay the course, and remain honest. How much you share will depend on each person you’re reconnecting with; a good rule of thumb is to uncover a new layer of honesty in these interactions than you’d ever shared previously. It’ll show them that you’re taking this seriously enough to take your openness with them to a new degree of intimacy and vulnerability.

Take the First Step Towards Healing

Once you’ve opened up with someone, the onus is on you to address the damage you might have caused to the relationship over the course of your battle with addiction. Though some people may bring it up, you want to be the one to take the first step to show that you realize how important it is to make amends if you want the relationship to regain its trust and quality. Don’t justify or minimize your past actions. You must accept the ways that you affected someone else, even if you understand clearly why you acted that way. The point is not to exonerate yourself; the point is to empathize and apologize for the damage you’ve caused.

Accept That You Can Only Control Yourself

One of the most frustrating parts of recovery can be the realization that even with your newfound efforts to improve yourself, some of the damage caused by your addiction can’t be easily reversed. Getting out of treatment and coming home may seem like the biggest change in the world to you, because you know the depth of the changes you’ve experienced. Other people might take longer to understand that. Some people might still not trust you, especially if you hurt them badly in the past. You may be struggling to fit back in with some groups or achieve the same bond you once had in personal relationships. You may find yourself wondering why people don’t see how much you’ve changed or what you did it all for.

While it won’t be easy at first, the most helpful thing you can do is to focus on being the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Be honest, be upright, be kind, and don’t act as though anyone owes you anything, whether it be forgiveness or friendship. These things can take time. The people you want in your corner will pay attention to the ways you’ve changed, and if you give people the chance to come back to you on their own, you may be surprised by the kindness and acceptance they show you.


Addiction can damage every aspect of your life and, after you get sober, your first order of business will be to repair your relationships and your own personal standings. Detox is only the beginning–once you’re out of treatment, you have a rare chance to rebuild your life by your own design. At RECO Intensive, we understand the importance of consistent, professional resources long after treatment ends. We provide the ongoing support you need to grow your new life in recovery into long-term success. By connecting with therapists, counselors, interpersonal guidance, and life planners, we help you heal the damage your addiction has caused throughout your life and work towards becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. We offer a wide variety of alumni programs that keep you engaged and sustain you with assistance throughout every step of your healthy future. Get sober, stay sober, and make the most of your new self. Call (561) 464-6533 to learn more.

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