The Circle of Trust in Recovery

man and woman holding hands by the ocean

The Circle of Trust in Recovery

Working Toward Rebuilding Trust
Working Toward Rebuilding Trust

When you were in active addiction, all you thought about was the next buzz or high. Your career, financial obligations, health, relationships with family and friends didn’t matter much any more. Avoiding the feelings of emotional and physical pain, withdrawal, emptiness or anger was your top priority. There simply was no space for anything or anyone else. In this time, many people who cared for you were hurt by your behavior.

Now that you are in recovery and picking up the pieces of your life, it’s time to address all these strained relationships. However, rebuilding trust is not as easy as it seems.

5 Steps to Regain Trust in Recovery

Learning how to rebuild trust starts in drug rehab and continues after you leave. It takes a lot of work on your part and your loved ones’ part. Even though you might be changing positively, your loved ones might be wary. Certain behaviors remind them of the broken promises of change. Keeping certain things in mind helps you maneuver your way back into the circle of trust.

  1. Be honest. When you were in active addiction, there was no lie you wouldn’t say to get what you wanted. That took a toll on your loved ones and now it’s going to take a lot of truth for them to accept what you say as a truth. As long as you continue to be 100 percent honest, even when it’s difficult, your path toward trust will be repaved.
  2. Open communication. Keeping the lines of communication open is helpful for your loved one to begin feeling trust. Staying transparent about your feelings, thoughts and behaviors gives your loved one the message that you are open and receptive. Remember that open communication is a two-way street. Encouraging your loved one to share feelings and thoughts lets him or her know that you genuinely care and helps clear the way to having trust restored.
  3. Be open to what they have to say and feel. Your loved ones have thoughts and feelings that need to be expressed. Letting them share without arguing or being judged or criticized makes them realize that you respect them and are open to their insight.
  4. Patience, patience, patience! You know you’re changing, but they might be cautious. Understand that your loved one has gone through a lot for a long time. He or she needs time to build trust. Showing empathy (putting yourself in their shoes) and patience goes a long way and helps you as well.
  5. Take accountability for your words and actions. It’s hard to admit when you’ve said or done something wrong or hurtful. But acknowledging the truth of what you said or did shows that you are growing as a person. Your loved one sees that you are taking the steps to becoming a better version on you and helps restore their trust.

The Road Back to Trust

Regaining your love one’s trust doesn’t happen overnight. It can be challenging, but don’t lose sight of your goal. Together you and your loved ones can build a stronger relationship once you’ve found recovery.