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Repairing Relationships: Acceptance, Honesty, and Moving Forward

 

One of the gifts of sobriety is the ability to begin repairing relationships. Oftentimes, these relationships were rocky to begin with, and they were inevitably made worse during active addiction. Although moving forward in these interactions isn’t easy, it is possible to do so with the application of a few principles that I’ve been taught in treatment and programs. Acceptance, self-acceptance, and honesty have helped me start to rebuild relationships with my family and friends – relationships that I once thought were beyond repair.

In order to start repairing relationships that are important to me, I had to learn how to accept these people for who they are. Acceptance hasn’t come easily. In fact, it’s something that I have to consciously work at in my daily interactions. I have come to realize that people aren’t going to behave in the ways that would be the most convenient for me and my feelings, and that I have to accept people – imperfections, quirks and all. After all, I know that I’d want the same treatment. I’m not a perfect person, so why judge those who I want in my life when I wouldn’t want to be addressed that way?

Equally as important as accepting others is learning to accept myself. Self-acceptance has been one of the hardest concepts for me to start implementing in my life. I have to learn to be honest with myself, and then accept me for who I am. This way, I have a way of feeling good about myself even if those in my life don’t treat me in the exact way that I feel I deserve to be treated, or with the words that I’d like to hear. Repairing relationships without self-acceptance is a futile effort. If I don’t have a modicum of comfort with myself, I’ll be looking for reassurance from the people close in my life. This approval-seeking behavior counteracts my other efforts to repair relationships.

Honesty has been at the core of moving forward in my relationships. It’s an essential part of accepting myself and others. If I don’t address these difficult interactions with honesty, I’m building a foundation based on resentment and lies instead of the truth. Granted, the truth can be infinitely more difficult and painful than a lie to face and work through with the ones you love, but it is worth it if you are willing to work at it.

Repairing relationships is a process, and not one that happens overnight and is then a part of the past. It is an everyday effort, infused with rigorous honesty. At times, it’s infuriating; at others, it can seem downright pointless. But when I choose to look at it through a different lens, I realize how blessed I am to have the opportunity to work through issues – many of which I’ve caused in my addiction – with the people that I care about, and that care about me. I get to practice the principles of acceptance and self-acceptance, while building stronger, healthier foundations. It’s a win-win situation: I get to experience personal growth, as well as growth in my interpersonal relationships. It’s just another fruit of sobriety that I am blessed to be able to experience and work towards.

 

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Written by

A native New Yorker, Bre loves the California scene and writing for Treatment4Addiction. She has been writing content for T4A for five months, and loves to learn new things, form opinions, and send them out to the world. Her interests include dance, singing, acting, talking with friends, being a daughter, and being the best big sister she can to her 16 year old brother. After attending ASU for a few months, she is interested in taking cosmetology classes and exploring her options. She looks forward to learning all she can, and doing something positive with that knowledge and experience.

Filed under: Love and Relationships, Recovery · Tags: Acceptance, honesty, reparing relationships, self-acceptance

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