Many people with addictions become self-absorbed and irresponsible. They will think only of the substance or activity to which they are addicted and may become manipulative in their attempts to get their hands on what they need. Because of this change in attitude, they often destroy their relationships with friends and family members. It is hard to trust someone who continuously breaks their promises.
Loved ones may have initially wanted to do everything in their power to help their addicted family member overcome their illness, probably thinking that they could be the ones to make the addict stop doing what they were doing. This is common. However, upon realising that no matter what they said or did the affected individual could not be helped unless this person wanted to be helped, their patience may have run out. It is highly likely that the addicted person burned a few bridges along the way.
If you were someone affected and in this position but are now clean, then you may want to start repairing your relationships with those you love. You probably understand the damage you have done now that you have been through treatment, and you are no doubt aware of the importance of making amends. But it is important to realise that it may not be as easy as just telling someone that you are sorry. You have to remember that you cannot force anyone to accept your apology. All you can do is change your own behaviour and hope that your loved ones will be willing to accept that you are serious about your recovery.
Actions Speak Louder than Words
Your family and friends might be sceptical about your recovery and you may be upset that they do not believe you have changed for good. You have put a lot of effort into your recovery and cannot understand why they are adamant that you will be back to your old ways before too long.
Remember that they have been dealing with your addiction for a long time and have heard you promise to get help before. Most addicts will promise their loved ones anything for a quiet life, so it is likely that you did too. Your family members and friends may have been optimistic in the past that you were going to change and get the help you needed, before being let down by you as you continued with your bad behaviour. So you can hardly blame them if they now find it hard to believe that this time you are serious.
It is no good just telling people that you are making a change and that you want to get better; you have to show them. You will have to be prepared to take each day as it comes and, as each day passes and you are still making the effort to change, your loved ones are more likely to start believing that you mean it this time.
Believe in Yourself
You need to remember that you cannot change the way that your loved ones think or feel. There is no point in getting angry or aggressive with them. You cannot force the issue. You must give them the time and space they need to see that you are making the effort this time and that you are prepared to do whatever you have to in order to get well.
By concentrating on yourself and your behaviour, others will eventually see that you are serious. Believe that you can do it this time, no matter what anyone else says. As you continue your journey towards sobriety, your friends and family will realise that your behaviour has changed and that you are now putting others before yourself. They will begin to accept that you are changing and are willing to do whatever it takes to make amends.