Recovering from addiction brings with it many exciting changes. We’re no longer chained to our addictive substance or behavior, constantly self-destructing because of our dependence on it. We’re no longer experiencing the inner turmoil and distress that accompanied our addictive cycles. We feel liberated. There are some difficult challenges that come with sobriety, however, and it serves us in our recovery to look at them and prepare ourselves for them as much as possible.
Perhaps one of our greatest challenges in sobriety is the loss of relationships that were important to us. Often when living with addiction, our closest relationships were fueled by that addiction. We were close to other addicts, forming co-dependent attachments where we enabled each other’s patterns and prevented each other from getting the help we needed. We held each other back and contributed to each other’s difficulties. We brought each other even more stress and unhappiness. We found that our relationships were huge factors in our depression, anxiety and addictive patterns. We used our drugs of choice to try and numb the pain of our tumultuous relationships.
When we do the work to recover, these relationships don’t always survive the transition into sobriety. Our loved ones may not be ready to recover. They may still be embroiled in their addictive patterns. We often come to the realization that we can’t risk our sobriety by engaging with them anymore. We don’t stop loving them, but we choose to love them from afar, knowing that when they’re ready to take their recovery seriously, we’ll be there for them. Until then, however, we may have to sever the relationship in order to prioritize our own well-being.
Some relationships may have suffered so much hurt, discord and conflict that we simply can’t come back from. We can undergo an intense grieving process for these relationships. It is a huge loss to be separated from people we care about. It’s important that we take all the time we need to cope with the loss and to find healthy ways to grieve. Our sadness around the loss can be a contributing factor to our relapse, so it’s crucial that we confront it head on and that we not bury or suppress it, causing ourselves more pain in the process.
Pinnacle Recovery gives you and your loved ones a safe, beautiful place to heal, with the knowledge and tools you need to make a full, successful recovery. Call 1-866-301-0573 today for more information.