Addiction is a very complicated disease, and it leads to a number of issues for the person affected by it. While you may immediately think of the toll that it takes on a person’s health or the potential for drug or alcohol use to lead to a run-in with the law, other consequences of a person’s addictive behavior may not be immediately apparent. One of the casualties of an addiction that may not come to mind right away is the toll it takes on personal relationships. The 12 steps of addiction recovery not only gives people a framework to stay sober, but also helps them feel connected to others as well.
Wrecked Relationships In Addiction
Someone caught in the throes of addiction is likely to put his or her need to use or get high first. It will come before a relationship with a spouse or partner, child, parent, sibling, friend or coworker.
There are only so many times that the people closest to an addict will be prepared to go through by being let down by someone they care for. If an addict lies, steals, or lets down his or her closest relatives often enough, the relationship is bound to suffer. Once trust has been betrayed, it is very difficult to rebuild, and the addict may well find him or herself alone.
Rebuilding Relationships: An Essential Part Of Treatment
When an addict goes into a drug or alcohol treatment program, he or she may feel awkward around other people. Building trust in relationships may not be a person’s strong suit, and his or her self-esteem is likely to have taken a beating, especially if the addiction was a long-standing one.
Going to counseling sessions is a good way to look at the issues that caused a person to become an addict in the first place. A supportive counselor can help someone understand his or her addiction. Attending Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings give participants fellowship with people who are just like them. They get to walk into a room and be with people who understand exactly where they are coming from.
Establishing connections and trust starts at the meetings and fulfills the human need to feel like there is a place where they belong. There is a reason why shunning is such an effective punishment in certain societies: singling out someone and paying no attention to them works.
New members will not be judged based on what they did while they were using. This method of recovery is focused on admitting that the participants need help and want to move forward. It forges bonds between people and takes away the isolation that may have contributed to their wanting to use drugs and alcohol initially. There may be 12 steps, but no one needs to walk them alone.