The most important relationship in recovery is the one you have with yourself. In the early stages of recovery it’s vital to work on reconnecting with and understanding YOU. Who you are, your beliefs, your truths, and what is important to you. As you start to set boundaries for yourself, you will also be learning how to put boundaries in place with those around you.
The more you connect and embrace yourself, you may discover that some of the previous relationships you had don’t fit in with your vision for the future.
That’s okay. It’s important to identify the problematic relationships and the supportive ones.
Repairing broken relationships in recovery.
There are often broken relationships that were casualties of addiction, some of which need repairing. Not all relationships are broken forever and recovery is a time for you to grow, rebuild, and strengthen. Some of these relationships can be the most difficult to confront. Repairing them requires humility, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Our family counselling and support programs are available to help with mending relationships with friends and family.
Building healthy relationships in recovery.
Healthy relationships are supportive; filled with open communication, trust and respect. It can be challenging to build and nurture these relationships with others when you are just starting to connect with yourself in this way.
It can be extremely daunting to go out and make new friends. However, it can also be freeing. Meeting new people, who aren’t connected to your past, provides you with a clean slate to be who you want to be. Some great ways of meeting new people are through hobbies – such as joining a fitness/sports club, dance or art classes, board game meetups, and more. In recent years there have also been more drug/alcohol free events popping up that could be a safe space for you to meet others.
Dating in recovery.
Starting new romantic relationships while in the early stages of recovery can be problematic. It is generally advised not to start any new, intimate relationships until you have reached the 1 year of recovery mark. It is a good idea to stop and ask yourself: ‘Would you date you right now?’. Are you able to offer someone else respect, honesty and support?
Relationships aren’t just about what another person has to offer you, but also what you can offer them. Recovery is a long term commitment which involves a lot of hard work.
Relationships are hard at the best of times. At best they provide a supportive, safe place to enhance communication skills and to grow and evolve as individuals and as a couple. At worst, they can feed and fuel each other negatively. When one or both people are entering recovery, there is a lot of growth and change occurring and couples may discover that they need different things. Or that they need to focus on themselves as individuals to move through some of the things that come up. It’s important to remember that recovery comes first and do whatever it takes to get the support and care you each need as individuals. This will give you the best chance at creating a healthy relationship whilst being mindful of and addressing any previous negative behaviours and patterns may emerge.
It will take time for you to trust yourself, and for others to trust you too. You may need to be the one that takes those first steps toward repairing relationships with parents, spouse, children, or friends. Don’t forget that there is always support available to you, as you navigate your way through recovery.