One of the most hurtful things about the disease of addiction is that it causes people’s priorities to shift away from spending quality time with loved ones in favor of drinking or using drugs. Eventually, these close relationships can wither due to neglect, leaving people dependent on substances isolated as their illnesses continue to worsen.
Though many people are in denial about how much their substance abuse issues are harming other people, on some level, they can still see how their behavior causes pain for friends and family. Once you decide to get sober, you’ll have to work to heal damaged relationships, and making amends is the best way to show you are serious about changing your life for the better.
Making Amends in Addiction Recovery
If you are working through a 12-Step program, you’ll notice that two of the steps specifically mention making amends. While personal responsibility is the overarching theme of the 12 Steps, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous recognized that addiction recovery cannot – and should not – happen in a vacuum. That’s why the 12 Steps also emphasize seeking forgiveness and rebuilding relationships.
Achieving ongoing success with your sobriety goals requires support and accountability, but if you burned too many bridges through your self-destructive behavior, you may find those assets sorely lacking in your life. Making amends is one way to demonstrate your sincerity to your loved ones and show your willingness to grow and improve.
You Are Worth Forgiveness
To start restoring relationships and building a network of sober supporters, you must first genuinely believe that you are a good person who deserves health and happiness. It’s critical to note that making amends is different from a simple apology – no matter how heartfelt it is. You must demonstrate your willingness to own the consequences of your behavior and actively work to repair the damage you’ve done.
Restoring connections with those you’ve emotionally or physically harmed will take time and effort, but it’s worth it to have the opportunity to repair those relationships, despite the damage. Ideally, the act of making amends will provide you and your loved ones with a sense of closure and allow all of you to start a new chapter in life.
Request Help Today
Addiction is a progressive disease that can rob you of everything you hold dear, including your emotional and physical well-being. With 10 locations across western Washington, Lakeside-Milam is the Pacific Northwest’s leading addiction treatment provider, offering a complete continuum of care delivered by highly trained professionals.
If alcohol or drugs have taken over your life and you find yourself unable to stop drinking or using on your own, we are here for you 24/7. When you contact us, a member of our compassionate admissions team will walk you through everything you can expect in addiction recovery, answer your questions, and verify your insurance. We understand how intimidating it can be to admit you have a substance use problem, but we are here to listen without judgment and offer our expert guidance.