Imagine you owned a home that had plumbing problems. You tried to do what you could to repair the problems, but they just got worse and worse, causing more and more damage to your home. Finally, it got to the point where you decided to strip the house down to its foundation and rebuild it.
Apply this analogy to your substance abuse. You are the home, and the relationships in your life are the plumbing that is not functioning properly. You have tried to fix the relationships, but until you are willing to strip down to your foundation and address your addiction, things just keep getting worse. Now the question is, as you start to rebuild, which part of the plumbing works and which needs to be replaced? Which relationships in your life are healthy, and which ones do you need to replace? Repairing and replacing relationships is an important part of preventing addiction relapse and building a strong recovery.
Analyzing Yourself as You Rebuild Relationships After Addiction Treatment
Drug or alcohol treatment offers you the opportunity to strip down your walls and look at your foundations. What are your core values? What are the qualities that you offer in the relationships in your life, whether they are with family, romantic partners, friends or coworkers? What are the things you want out of your relationships that are most important to you? After clearing out the shame and guilt to honestly see who you really are and who you are working to be, what kind of people do you think deserve to be in your life?
As you are truly honest with yourself in answering these questions, look at the new blueprint for your life in alcohol addiction recovery and see where the relationships you had before treatment might fit into your new plans. Who are the people who love you and support you no matter what? They are not the codependent ones who enabled your substance abuse, nor the people who partied with you, supplied your drugs or pressured you to drink or get high. The new you should be strong and healthy, so you need strong, healthy, supportive people in your life, even if that means finding new relationships.
How Healthy Relationships Should Function After Addiction Treatment
Relationships should be based on trust and mutual respect, no matter what type of relationship they are. There should always be a give and take, even if sometimes one person’s needs take precedence temporarily—that should be a flexibility within the relationship that goes both ways. Open communication facilitates the repairs needed in the relationship, no matter how big or small. A healthy relationship does not need to be perfect, as long as it is always a work in progress.
Positive Qualities to Look for in Relationships After Addiction Treatment
You will have your own personal qualities to look for in your relationships once you are in drug or alcohol addiction recovery, but a required quality should be healthy support. This support can come in many ways, from a simple text of support, to listening to you when you need it most, to tough love, and more. But basic qualities to look for in your relationships should include:
- Good communication skills
- Healthy self-esteem
- Ability to make and keep healthy boundaries
- Willingness to make compromises
- Commitment to building a healthy relationship
- Strength and personal conviction
Just as these qualities should be ones you are striving to develop as you transition from treatment into your recovery, these character traits are important to look for in others. Not every person in your life will have every quality, but the more positive qualities you can find in the people you surround yourself with, the more likely you are to prevent relapse and to grow in your own recovery.
How to Know if Your Relationships Are Functioning Well After Addiction Treatment
Life does not always go as planned, but if your relationships are functioning well, you will feel supported by the people in your life. You will be able to relax and feel at ease with the people in your life, rather than experience the tension, pain and drama that often come with unhealthy relationships. Whether you are building new relationships or rebuilding existing relationships, finding people with positive qualities can be thought of as a cornerstone to preventing addiction relapse.
Not unlike building or rebuilding a house, healthy relationships are truly satisfying. As you set out on your recovery journey and work to rebuild and improve your own qualities, it will feel good to have people in your life who love and inspire you.
Learning how to interact in new and healthier ways can be key in avoiding addiction relapse and building a strong recovery. Learning how to rebuild your life is the purpose of DiscoveryMD. At our outpatient treatment program, we offer both outpatient and intensive outpatient care. We often work in groups to help learn more about relationships within treatment. DiscoveryMD strives to maintain good relationships within our community as well as to offer you all the services you need under one roof. Contact us today to start building and rebuilding healthy relationships.