3 Positive Effects of Healing Human Relationships

3 Positive Effects of Healing Human Relationships

Remember the quality time you spend together with your loved ones and friends

Whether you are in recovery or wondering if you need to receive treatment, there is no doubt that you have relationships have been damaged due to substance abuse. Al-Anon holds the viewpoint that alcoholism is a family disease because alcohol abuse often causes emotional, psychological and sometimes even physical effects on family and friends, and your addiction too has caused strain to many of the relationships around you.

Addiction presents the opportunity to harm relationships or to actually bring people closer together over time. For every individual who is called an addict, keep in mind that he or she has many other roles and responsibilities such as father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, friend, neighbor and coworker. You cannot be a good friend when you spend your time under the influence. You cannot be a good parent when you are not coherent or present. You are a bad coworker when you call in sick so you can get drunk or high.

Once you start the recovery process, healing begins as you get clean and start to reflect on the situation. This healing often starts with forgiving yourself for the harm you inflicted. This is not excusing it but becoming self-aware and knowing that you suffer from the disease of addiction. Next you need to ask forgiveness from those you harmed with your addiction. Yes, this requires great humility and honesty. Asking someone who you have hurt to forgive you is not easy. Sometimes the healing is not immediate and takes extended periods of time. There could be a relapse (or several relapses), and there is more pain and hurting before healing comes.

Families, groups and communities may find themselves united in pain but choose not to talk about it. The gradual process of healing comes with intentional forgiveness and starts with each individual involved communicating and expressing how they feel. As mentioned above, Al-Anon and many other programs are available to help friends and family of addicts heal and move forward.

As you make progress in your recovery, the following are three positive changes you will see from healing relationships:

You can let go of guilt.

There is no longer reason to feel guilty. You have already asked for forgiveness for the mistakes you have made. You cannot do anything to completely change your past, so internally beating yourself up is not an option. You now can be free.

Now you can spend quality time together.

No longer will you not remember the time you spend together with your loved ones and friends. You can soak up and enjoy every moment. Take the kids to the park. Go for a long walk with your spouse. Spend quality time with friends. No longer is your focus on getting your next fix. Now you can enjoy each moment.

You can look forward to a brighter future.

You have grown as a person and developed in many ways. You feel better and have a clear mind. Yes, you will face struggles at some points with your addiction, but you will know that you have a support network in place that loves you and cares about you. This is very important to let you know that you have the structure in place to ensure your success.

Remember, your past does not define you or anyone else. Be patient, kind and intentional when you reach out to restore communication with others. Healing a relationship does not mean you will interact in the exact same way. Change is a consistent part of life, and it is not bad. As you grow, you change. Be open to how things evolve, and know if you do not like something that is alright. Give things time, and be patient. This is why having a good support network is important including some friends or family you can talk to and express how you feel.

If you do not have that at this moment, a support network does not have to be a bunch of people. It can start with your doctor and therapist. Over time, it will grow as you reconnect with family and friends. You will also make new friends. Going to support groups is very important as well with others who struggle with the same challenges you do. A sponsor is a very important part of your support group. If you have questions about that specific process with Alcoholics Anonymous you can go here, or for Narcotics Anonymous, there is a resource available here.

If you have any questions about the healing process or restoring healthy relationships, please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline, and talk to one of our counselors. They are there to help you in recovery and give you all the information you need to answer any questions you have. Know you can move forward and have a healthy, sober life.

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