Rebuilding Your Trust In a Recovering Addict
Trusting the recovering addict is hard. It is even harder when a parent or loved one does not know the information needed to know about behaviors during addiction and during recovery. Trust is a two-way street; both you and the addict must work at it in order for it to happen, and it most definitely takes the one thing that heals all wounds: time.
Attend Meetings Together
There are many endorsed meetings, such as Al-Anon and Nar Anon that are free of cost and are more than likely in your area at different times during the week.
These meetings are very structured and allow you to vent and bond with others that are going through what you are going through.
They are quite inspirational and keep you thinking about your journey long after you leave. Attending meetings with your recovering child or spouse can be a real bonding experience and keep you both positively moving forward. This will be the beginning of trusting the one you love so very much.
Communicate with Each Other
Communication is huge, but in early recovery, it can be very hard on the addict. They may have to learn how to be honest and open while being sober, and this is a process.
Taking time to talk with your recovering addict can get those feelings out in the open and is very effective in beginning to build trust once again; however, in the beginning, your addict may be going through mood changes and challenges in remaining drug and alcohol-free.
Making your feelings be known and listening to their feelings is a way to know what to expect from one another. Talking about things that you can improve on (in my case it was showing too much doubt, being too possessive, and asking too many questions), as well as things they can improve on (not being open enough, not checking in) can reestablish those expectations you have of one another.
Set Limits and Boundaries
Don’t be shy to set firm limits, especially at first. Your child or partner must understand the reason behind the boundaries, and if they are receptive to working at recovery and regaining relationships, they will be agreeable to reasonable limits.
This is especially true if your loved one is financially dependent (or partially dependent) on you, or is relying on you in other ways. More limits need to be established if they are living with you, such as a curfew, freedom to go out, or whatever you feel you need to set for a healthy home.
This is especially true if you have more children at home that need cared for and require your emotional attention. Once those limits are set and adhered to, this will help you feel confident that your addict is doing the right things.
The one thing you can do for yourself is find a good counselor. Taking care and being proactive with your mental health is crucial during your loved one’s active addiction, as well as recovery.
A counselor can teach you different ways to deal with the anxiety every time that phone rings, when you worry about the worst in situations, and when you just become sad and blame yourself for all of the past turmoil.
Think of counseling as a gift to your health, which is exactly what you need to have to be the best you can be to your family and friends. Your counselor can also greatly help with doubts and “letting go” in order to regain that trust once again.
Luckily, your child or partner may be in active recovery, which means they want to get better. After attending rehab, they begin to be more aware of what damage they caused to their family, not to mention to their own mind and overall health.
If your addict is in recovery, more than likely they want to heal not only for themselves but heal the relationships that were once lost due to their addiction. Over time, you will begin to go through each day without thinking about what they are doing, or what they are “up to.” Patience is key, and with a calm mind and confidence in your relationship, you will learn to trust again.