When you decide to get help for your substance use disorder, this is just the beginning of your recovery journey. An essential part of recovery is having support from friends and family and having confidence in yourself. Your recovery also requires commitment, hard work, honesty, and trust. As such, trust in addiction recovery is a vital component of your recovery journey.
What Is Trust in Addiction Recovery?
Trust is defined as “the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Therefore, trust in addiction recovery is being able to place trust in others while others are able to put trust in you.
Why Is Trust in Addiction Recovery Important?
One of the significant challenges in recovery is not having trust in yourself and others. Others may have difficulty trusting you because of broken promises and other things you did while using substances. You may have even burned all your bridges with your loved ones and friends.
However, to be successful in recovery, trust must be one of the cornerstones of your new sober foundation. Addiction changes our behaviors and often leads to isolation and withdrawal. Therefore, you need to find a way to start to trust others while showing them you are trustworthy.
Where Does Trust in Recovery Start?
Trust in recovery starts by putting trust in the treatment professionals that provide support and guidance. You need to understand they are there to help you and want you to be able to succeed in your recovery.
Next, you have to have trust in yourself. It is understandable you can feel self-doubt about being able to maintain your sobriety. However, you need to work on forgiving yourself for all your mistakes during your substance use days. Once you do, you can move forward and begin rebuilding your self-confidence and trust you can succeed in recovery.
In addition, you have to be able to trust your peers in recovery. Everyone is on their own journey, and by trusting one another, you can form new friendships and support each other. After your initial rehab treatment, peer support and trust go hand-in-hand to increase your success in maintaining sobriety.
Why Is Repairing Trust Important to Recovery?
You will need to work on repairing damaged relationships and rebuilding trust with your spouse, partner, family, and friends. These relationships are often damaged and strained due to your addiction. Part of your recovery will be making amends with anyone you violated and broke their trust.
This is one of the more difficult tasks because working on relationships requires you and the other person to be willing to move forward. However, this does not always occur. Sometimes, the trust is so damaged the other person is not willing even to make an attempt.
However, you still need to acknowledge what you did to them, apologize, and give them time to process. They may come around eventually once they see you are regaining the trust of others. On the other hand, they may never come around. Just be prepared, and if they do not, while it can be disheartening, you need to continue moving forward.
Family counseling can be beneficial when rebuilding trust with friends, family, and your spouse or partner. It provides a safe space where your loved ones can express their feelings and how your addiction hurts them. It also allows you and them to start healing and repairing damaged relationships.
How Can I Show People I Am Trustworthy?
The best way to show people you are trustworthy is through your actions and doing the following:
- Do not play the victim. It is easy to want to shift blame and put it on your addiction. However, you need to accept your mistakes and show others you are willing to accept accountability.
- Focus on your recovery and your needs. This may seem a bit selfish. Yet, most people around you will be skeptical about the “newly sober” you. The best way to shift their skepticism to trust is by continuing to focus on your recovery and your needs.
- Stick to your commitments. When you make commitments, show others you can follow through, and they will gradually start to trust you more.
- Follow your structured routine. Maintaining your structured routine helps you work on your recovery and shows others you are reliable and predictable.
- Do not expect approval or praise from those you hurt. While reaching milestones in your recovery are moments to celebrate, do not expect approval or praise from those you hurt. Instead, rely on your peer support group for any praise or approval you need.
- Remember to have patience. You have no control over when someone will start trusting you again. The process for them can take months or even years. Just be persistent and continue to show those around you that you are trustworthy.