How Do I Regain My Loved Ones’ Trust After Rehab?

The decision to go into rehab is often the result of negative consequences triggered by substance abuse. People that enter a treatment program often feel that they’ve hit rock bottom and have harmed the ones that they were closest to along the way. Once stability has been regained, it’s time to get started rebuilding trust within the important relationships that have been impacted by your addiction. 


Why Is It Important to Make Amends?

Although it is unfortunate to find yourself overcome with an addiction, the people that are caught in the middle are also forced into tough situations. Making amends is vital because no one deserves to feel hurt, rejected, betrayed, or otherwise mistreated. You may be able to regain your sense of self-worth through meaningful connections while you give those that you have hurt a chance to heal their wounds as they regain trust.

Start With Small Steps

Change isn’t going to happen overnight, but a small gesture to reach out is going to be the best place to start. You can open the lines of communication through writing a personal letter, making a phone call, or even sending an instant message to those that are most important to you. Show honesty and vulnerability, and make sincere apologies anywhere that they are due. You may be surprised to find that some people don’t expect more than for you to show remorse for any harm that you have done.

Tips for Healthy Communication

People need to know that they are important enough for you to make an effort to rebuild a relationship with after rehab. Whether you are dealing with a family member or friend, there is no harm in expressing the desire to have that person in your life. Don’t assume that close relatives like your parents or children will be ready to welcome you back into their life without a heartfelt apology. It can be scary to show such vulnerability, but you risk losing people that matter the most by avoiding meaningful opportunities.

Mistakes of the past should be left behind when possible, but you may find yourself left with a lot of regret and guilt after rehab. Holding onto the negative feelings will not bring upon the positive change that you need to move forward. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your desires for forgiveness as you work to rebuild relationships at this point in your life. 

Prepare for Possibly Rejection

It’s human nature to want to stay away from individuals that have caused pain, so you could have loved ones that have completely severed ties with the old version of you. Some relationships can’t be mended, but those that truly matter are worth the effort to explore the possibility. Once you open the lines of communication, allow the other person to take as long as they need to respond. Don’t put pressure on anyone to let you back into their life if they seem to be resistant to the idea.

Embrace A Routine

Relationships take a lot of work, especially when it comes to rebuilding from a place of negativity. Addicts are often seen as irresponsible, unreliable, and unpredictable to those that witness their lifestyle firsthand. A good routine is good for your well-being, but it will show those around you that you are serious about rebuilding. Consider a few of the following suggestions for regaining a stable routine:

• Join a gym or fitness group
• Attend a weekly support group or go to counseling
• Get a steady job
• Nurture yourself with a good sleep schedule and healthy diet

Good lifestyle habits will support your physical and emotional health and show those around you that you’re committed and capable of change. Recovery doesn’t stop after rehab, and structure is a great way to decrease the chance of slipping back into bad habits.

Don’t Pressure Yourself

You went into rehab by yourself to take care of a very personal struggle, and not everyone is ready to get in touch with the outside world the moment they get back home. If you’re in the right place and feel willing to put a significant effort into rebuilding supportive relationships, then you should jump right in. On the other hand, you are allowed to take as much time as you need to get right with yourself first. It may not be advisable to try to bring people back into your life if you can’t put in as much as you expect to receive. The worst thing you could do at this point is to try to regain the trust of a loved one without the certainty that you can handle it.

Tips For The Family Of A Recovering Addict

Let Go Of The Past

It’s not easy for some people to apologize, and you can’t always rely on getting one the first day that your loved one leaves rehab. Give them time to find a way to express their remorse for breaking your trust in their way. If you care enough about regaining the relationship and moving forward, you must make an effort to let go of the pain that you have experienced. Don’t punish the person that hurt you or expect that holding the grudge will ever change things that have happened.

Disassociate Your Friend/Family Member from their Disease

Addiction is like an illness that overtakes a person and affects every aspect of their life. It’s common for an addict to behave selfishly and put their own needs first when they are struggling. Don’t define the person by a disease the same way you wouldn’t blame someone that you love for having cancer.

Start From Scratch 

Your loved one is starting a new life as they exit from rehab as a recovering addict. Healthy relationships will have their highs and lows, and both people involved should practice honest communication. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself or address new issues that arise, but keep in mind that it’s not fair to use their past against them. Try to keep a positive attitude and move forward without allowing past problems to creep into disagreements.

Rehab Questions