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Author: Angeline Gormley Angeline Gormley

Rekindling Fires: How to Repair Relationships Broken by Addiction

Valentine’s Day is a time to express our love for the people who matter to us. Whether it’s our significant others, friends, family, or peers, we’re thinking of those people during this month of love. 

But when those ties are damaged because of addiction, you can restore your relationships.

Addiction can affect every aspect of your life. It can drain your finances, change your personality, and damage your health. It frequently causes relationship strains between you and the people you love. You may end up fighting more or becoming distant from the people you’ve been connected with throughout the years.

Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a day of resentment or bitterness. You may see people with roses and chocolates and people celebrating the event with joy in their hearts. Instead of shutting off, you can use this opportunity to make changes in your life.

There is still hope to rebuild bridges burned due to substance abuse. Here are some ways you can repair your relationships with loved ones:

Ways to repair relationships damaged by substance abuse

Come to terms with reality

Acceptance and growth go hand in hand. You can’t grow unless you begin to accept the reality of substance abuse in your life. If you begin to see signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one, it is time to accept this reality and find help as soon as you can.

It is easy to think that drug or alcohol abuse is something separate from the relationships we have. In its earlier stages, people might assume that they can manage substance abuse without negative side effects. However, substance abuse and addiction are similar to a slow-acting poison. Once you take a sip of it, it slowly creeps into your system and permeates different parts of your body and your life.

Coming to terms with reality and being honest can be painful, but they’re the first steps to repairing your relationships. You can journal how you feel, talk with the people involved, or speak to a professional about understanding your situation and finding help.

Communicate and commit

After grounding yourself with the truth of your situation, you can take small but sure steps to repair your relationships by:

  • Communicating with others: Ask what your loved ones need from you and what you need from them to repair the damaged relationship. Schedule a time to sit down and air out your thoughts and feelings about things that have happened. Avoid shifting the blame but focus on a solution instead.
  • Committing to solutions: Once solutions have been discussed, find ways to commit to them physically and mentally. Whether it’s going to rehab, avoiding the slippery slope of addiction triggers, or being more mindful of showing affection, stick to these resolutions to create true changes.
  • Asking for accountability: You can also increase your chances of restoring your relationships when you encourage others to participate in changes. Ask them to help you be accountable in case you resume old habits and lifestyles that could lead to a relapse.

Commend yourself for the steps you take

Loving others also means having the capacity to love yourself. It doesn’t matter how big of a step you’re taking. What’s important is your appreciation of yourself and the journey you’re undergoing. 

There are times in life when we feel like we don’t measure up to others, but remember that your path is unique. Others may look like they have it together, but there is no point in comparing and criticizing yourself.

Comparing two different people is not helpful because people have one-of-a-kind paths in their lives. Here are some mindsets you can adapt to love yourself more:

  • Practicing gratitude: Become more aware of the things you already have. Often, we filter out what we should be thankful for and focus instead on what we don’t have. Having a daily moment of gratitude even for the simplest things works wonders to help love yourself and your life.
  • Care for your body and mind: Slowly but surely practice simple habits that can improve your health. Eating more whole foods, exercising daily, reading interesting books, and socializing with others can improve your physical, intellectual, and emotional life.
  • Celebrate your wins: Appreciating your wins can improve your relationships with others. It can be as simple as saying kind words to yourself or enjoying a simple treat with your loved ones. When you are empowered, you are also motivated to love and care for others.

So, be kind to yourself as you take strides to move forward. What matters is that you are taking gradual ways to heal yourself and your relationships, one step at a time.

Valentine’s Day self-reflection: a point of change

This Valentine’s Day may be a time to self-reflect and create breakthroughs in your relationships. The tips mentioned above can help you unlatch yourself from the chains of addiction while repairing broken ties with your loved ones.

Sources

history.com – History of Valentine’s Day

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – What Are the Different Types of Drugs and How Are They Treated?

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Contact Us

journals.plos.org – The Effect of Admitting Fault Versus Shifting the Blame on Expectations for Others to Do the Same

forbes.com – How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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