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Healing the Family: 5 Tips for Rebuilding Bonds Broken by Addiction

Healing the Family: 5 Tips for Rebuilding Bonds Broken by Addiction

Addiction and substance abuse does more than damage your health; it can destroy close family bonds and friendships, cripple opportunities, and bring bright futures, full of potential to a halt. When one chooses to break the hold addiction has on one’s life, it is the beginning of a complete transformation. Beginning in rehab, a skilled team of counselors and therapists can help you to cope with urges and triggers, remove cognitive ties to substance abuse, and gain a healthier, more positive outlook on life.

But what about the external damage cause by a substance abuse disorder? Is there no way to mend what has been broken while under the influence of an addicted mind? Must what is broken remain so?

Thankfully, our profound human nature allows for flaws and mistakes; we use these traits and experiences to learn and grow as individuals and as a global society. This adaptive nature also fosters the ability to forgive and progress in our lives and relationships- if all parties are willing to work for the betterment of the bond. If you are in recovery and seeking to rebuild bonds broken in your active use phase, following the 5 tips for rebuilding a bond broken by addiction is a good place to start.

1. Be Honest

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Be Honest About Your Wrongdoings

    You cannot ask for forgiveness without admitting wrong. Rebuilding external relationships begins within; you have to understand, or at least attempt to understand your wrongs before you can atone from them. Recognizing another’s feelings and your part in them is key to beginning the relationship healing process. That’s not to say you are solely responsible for others’ emotional well-being, but part of being a mature adult is recognizing and accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions.

    Approach your loved one open and honestly. Verbally acknowledge the cause of contention  and the part you played in the perpetuation of it, and express your feelings on it. Be sure to tell your family member or friend that you want to fix the problem, why, and how. Giving a solid, planned course of action helps them to see you are serious about overcoming the issues and moving forward with a stronger bond and appreciation for each other.

    2. Listen

    Active Listening is Key to Healing Relationships

      It’s equally important for the person whose forgiveness you are seeking to be able to speak honestly about their feelings regarding past transgressions. To help facilitate an atmosphere in which they feel comfortable being open and honest with you, make sure they know you are listening- really listening. That means an in-person (if possible) conversation which has your undivided attention: no multi-tasking, no electronic devices, no other physical crutches.

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      While it may be difficult for you if you are anxious about the conversation, showing that you are serious about rectifying your mistakes can go a long way in helping mend what has been broken. Sincerity, above all else, must be the core of your intentions if you wish to be successful in mending the bonds broken by addiction. If you find you cannot act in a sincere manner, or that your efforts are not being truly accepted and appreciated, perhaps you should rethink if the relationship is worth salvaging.

      3. Be Cooperative

      Cooperate with Those Trying to Help You

        It’s one thing to listen, but you also have to be cooperative. Getting defensive will only serve to cause tension and further widen the divide between you and your loved ones. That doesn’t mean you have to accept abusive language; by all means, if you’re being attacked, feel free to get up and walk away. Fixing the kind of damage addiction causes to your interpersonal relationships is rarely a smooth road- but if you are forthright and willing to put in the work necessary for redemption, it is possible.

        When faced with friends or family members asking you to modify certain behaviors in order to salvage the relationships you value, at least consider their words and viewpoint. However, there are some things which are not up for debate on which you should not compromise, such as:

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        • Your gender and/or sexual identity and your right to express it
        • Your right to feel safe and respected
        • Your sobriety
        • Your right to be heard as an individual
        • Your universal human rights

        4. Stay Consistent

        Consistency Shows Reliability

          One of the main reasons people are hesitant to believe in people in recovery is that, while under the influence of addiction, one becomes unreliable, inconsistent, and flaky. With one’s priorities shifted by a substance abuse disorder, being there for others or committing to one’s responsibilities rapidly fall into the background. Unfortunately, some view a history of relapse as reason to doubt one’s reliability rather a part of the struggle to conquer the chronic disorder. So how do you rebuild this faith with the odds stacked against you?

          There’s not much you can say to rebuild broken trust; but there is plenty you can do- by backing up your words with actions. Following through with your promises and staying firmly on the sober path can help re-establish the trust and confidence past actions may instill in others. Beyond that, sticking to your word and your goals is a great way to build confidence in yourself and your ability to turn things around. Learning to rely on yourself is essential to successful recovery addiction.

          5. Know When to Walk Away

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          Know When to Walk Away From Toxic Relationships

            The reality is, no matter how much we may wish to repair the damage caused in the past and rebuild relationships, it often isn’t up to us. Sometimes we simply cannot let go of the hurt or anger- and sometimes that is for the best. Anyone who would insist on holding your past against you even as you attempt to improve yourself and your life is not someone you need in your future. You do not deserve abuse, neglect, or mistreatment, no matter what others may say.

            Walking away from bad relationships- even ones within the family- is the best thing you can ever do for yourself. With time and distance, you will come to realize those relationships only served to hold you back in the long run. Ideally one would have the support of friends and family through the recovery process, but if they cannot recognize your attempts to better yourself, it’s okay. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people- they’re more important than salvaging a relationship better left in the past.

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            Last Updated on October 18, 2018

            50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

            50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Prepare You For Any Challenges In Life

            Life is filled with highs and lows —happiness and struggles that will test your resilience and integrity, push you to overcome challenges and leave you with lessons that will make you even stronger on your way up.

            It’s the way you feel and think about yourself, including your expectations and beliefs about what is possible to you, greatly determines everything that happens to you.

            It all starts with your thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you transform the quality of your life. (Right, Nancy’s story is a typical example!)

            Below is a list of the best motivational quotes to inspire you to start your day with a blast:

            Quotes for self-assurance

            1. Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality, upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.

              2. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.

                3. You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

                  4. The man who has confidence in himself gains the confidence of others

                    5. You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.

                      6. It’s not who you are that holds you behind, it’s who you think your are not.

                        Quotes about positivity

                        7. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and think of what could go right.

                          8. You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it is experience.

                            9. Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice.

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                              10. If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.

                                11. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

                                  12. Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for great.

                                    13. Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned from worst times and from the worst mistakes.

                                      Quotes for work and success

                                      14. Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.

                                        15. Never stop doing great just because someone doesn’t give you credit.

                                          16. Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to.

                                            17. Work while they sleep. Learn while they party. Save while they spend. Live like they dream.

                                              18. The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire, not things we fear.

                                                19. Never apologize for having high standards, people who really want to be in your life will rise to meet them.

                                                  20. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.

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                                                    21. Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it, time will pass anyway.

                                                      22. Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

                                                        23. A hill is just another opportunity to leave your competition behind.

                                                          24. Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.

                                                            25. Hustle until you no longer need to introduce yourself.

                                                              26. You didn’t come this far only to come this far.

                                                                27. Be selective in your battles for sometimes peace is better than being right.

                                                                  28 If we keep doing what we are doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

                                                                    29. You will never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

                                                                      30. Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.

                                                                        31. The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there.

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                                                                          32. If your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.

                                                                            33. If you can’t handle stress, you won’t manage success.

                                                                              34. Don’t be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams.

                                                                                35. Don’t mistake silence for weakness. Smart people don’t plan big moves out loud.

                                                                                  36. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

                                                                                    37. Obsessed is the word the lazy use to describe dedicated.

                                                                                      38. You become who you spend your time with.

                                                                                        39. Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.

                                                                                          40. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.

                                                                                            41. If you don’t build your dreams, someone else will hire you to build theirs.

                                                                                              42. Between stimulus and response is our greatest power –the freedom to choose.

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                                                                                                43. What comes easy won’t last, what lasts won’t come easy.

                                                                                                  44. Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

                                                                                                    45. Work until your idols become your rivals.

                                                                                                      Quotes about money

                                                                                                      46. Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.

                                                                                                        47. I create new enemies every day, it’s called business.

                                                                                                          48. When you have a Million Dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with 1 cent minds.

                                                                                                            49. You can’t get rich thinking poor.

                                                                                                              50. Doing what is comfortable is rarely profitable.

                                                                                                                51. If you can count your money, work harder.

                                                                                                                  If you find yourself feeling lost and frustrated, it’s never too late to change things up. Check out this guide:

                                                                                                                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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