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overcoming trust issues in addiction recovery
November 16, 2020

Overcoming Trust Issues in Addiction Recovery

Substance abuse and mental illness can erode trust and undermine relationships. As a result, it’s likely that overcoming trust issues will become one of your highest priorities in your addiction recovery. You’ll also need to rebuild trust in yourself after years of letting addiction control your life. Here are some strategies for restoring your self-esteem and repairing damaged relationships with the people you care about most. 

Reestablishing Trust in Yourself

You’ll need to start overcoming trust issues with yourself before you can work on regaining others’ trust in you. Consider these ways to do so.

Be Your Authentic, Unapologetic Self

In the earliest phases of addiction recovery, you might struggle with your confidence. If you were used to relying on alcohol and drugs to smooth awkward moments and make you feel less self-conscious, you’ll need to re-learn to accept who you are without these intoxicants standing in the way. 

You may also hold back from being your genuine self because you’re worried about encountering the stigma associated with addiction. If you fear others’ judgment, you could try to act like someone you’re not. People will be able to sense that. If you’re feeling too vulnerable to reveal your true self, start by holding role-playing sessions with close friends and family. Practice social interactions until you’re comfortable in your skin. Your therapist can also help you learn how to be yourself with less anxiety about revealing your innermost feelings.

Be More Positive

Addiction can lead you to a dark place where you believe you’re not worthy of others’ respect and love. To establish more trust in yourself, work on fighting back against negative self-talk. If you catch yourself thinking self-defeating thoughts like “I’ll never be good enough” or “I can’t do this,” look back at how far you’ve come and honor the progress you’ve made. 

Overcoming Trust Issues With Others

Once you restore your belief in yourself, you can move on to repairing your relationships with family and friends. Doing so may be more challenging if your addiction made you behave erratically or if you lied to or stole from people to fuel your unhealthy habits. 

Be Patient

In renewing your relationships with loved ones, you’ll need to be patient and accept that this process can take time. You likely caused your family and friends a lot of pain during your active addiction. For example, if you got fired for drinking or using on the job, you might have had to borrow money you never paid back. Or, perhaps you failed to uphold specific promises or family obligations. It can take a long time for your loved ones to learn to trust you again if you were unreliable for many years. 

Make Amends

Sincerely apologizing to people you hurt and acknowledging their pain can help everyone move forward. Actions speak louder than words, so demonstrate your commitment to showing how much you’ve changed. Invite your loved ones to participate in healthy hobbies with you and support your new, substance-free lifestyle.

Seek Family Therapy

At the peak of your substance abuse, you may have told yourself the lie that you weren’t hurting anyone else with your unhealthy habits. However, the reality is that your disease had a widespread effect on everyone who cared about you. Watching you struggle with your problems day after day probably took a significant toll on their mental well-being. If they urged you to get help and you rejected their suggestions, they might feel resentment that requires work to overcome. Family therapy can help smooth the way to more loving, supporting and trusting relationships between you and your loved ones.

Is It Time to Make a Fresh Start?

At Beach House, we know how essential it is for families of addicted loved ones to get counseling, too. That’s why we make our family programming available at no extra cost to our clients’ family members. To learn more about pursuing your path to sobriety at our accredited Florida rehab facility, don’t wait to connect with us.

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