Broken promises are common among those suffering from addiction. People often complain that their addicted loved ones make promises to quit drinking or taking drugs but never seem to manage it. It is not unusual for those who suffer from addiction to genuinely believe that they can quit, but this is usually when they are suffering an especially bad hangover or comedown or when they are ashamed of something they have done while under the influence. When feeling like this, he or she might promise their loved ones that they are going to change, and they tend to believe that they will never touch drugs or alcohol again.
However, when the cravings kick in and the urge to drink or take drugs takes over, there is little the affected individual can do to stop him/herself giving in. When faced with intense cravings, nothing else matters and the promises to quit seem so far away. The person will begin to convince him/herself that having one drink or a quick fix will not cause any significant problems. Loved ones feelings fade into insignificance and there is nothing else in the world that comes close to the intense need for the substance to which the person is addicted.
Quitting for Good
So it is not too hard to imagine that family members and friends will be sceptical when an addicted loved one tells them that he or she is quitting for good this time. They will be expecting another broken promise and will be just waiting for the day when the individual is back drinking or taking drugs.
This attitude is frustrating for the person who is trying to make amends and who really wants to get clean. If this situation is familiar to you, you may be feeling hurt and upset that your loved ones do not believe you are serious this time. But to be fair, they have had to put up with a lot from you in the past, so it is understandable that they may be finding it difficult to believe you could actually quit for good.
Show Your Loved Ones You Mean Business
Your loved ones will never believe you are serious just because you say you are. You need to show them you want to change and then work hard to regain their trust. This will take time, so be patient. All you can do is continue to attend meetings or arrange to see a counsellor for treatment.
Speak to your family about your intention to overcome your illness, and ask that they judge you one day at a time. Tell them that you are trying hard to beat your addiction and let them know that their support could make all the difference.
Continue to Work Hard
It is important to bear in mind that, no matter what you do, you cannot change the way others think. If your loved ones are convinced you will fall off the wagon again, there is little you can do to change their minds in the beginning. The only way to change their opinion is to continue to work hard to change your own attitudes and behaviour.
It would be wise to give your family the space and time they need to get used to the idea that maybe you do mean it this time. Try not to get annoyed or hostile with family members and friends because they are finding it difficult to trust you. Remember that your behaviour in the past is the reason for their negative attitude, and it will take time before they are willing to let their guards down again.
Just continue to work on your sobriety and, with time and patience, you can begin to rebuild your relationships.