Coming back from a dark place that alcohol and other addictions pushed you into is a trying process. It takes immense persistence and willpower to rebuild and repair what was broken, and when it comes to mending the relationships with your family—the people who chose to stick by you even (and especially) when you were at your absolute worst—one sure can use all the help they can get.
Here are five basic ways to get you started on the road to mending and strengthening your familial relationships.
Be Patient But Persistent
Firstly, one needs to understand that fixing family relations is not the same thing as patching up a broken piece of furniture. People need a reasonable amount of time and space to forgive someone, and just because you apologized for your actions does not entitle you to their forgiveness. So, be patient yet indisputably persistent in your pursuit for pardon.
Actions do speak louder than words. Hence, instead of repeatedly promising your family members that you shall not tread down the dark road of addiction ever again, it is always better to show them. Take up a hobby, or go back to work, start taking interest and participate in household activities—just start somewhere.
The key concept here is to make peace with the fact that things may never turn out to be the exact same way they were before alcohol took over. But there is hardly any reason to be discouraged by that. Instead, once you fully understand the fact that things have changed, you may now work toward building a better and stronger family environment with your loved ones.
Ask For Help
Recovering from substance abuse can be a largely solitary process, but it does not have to be. Reach out to family members, mentors and/or support groups to help you out when you feel your determination wavering. If you do not wish to talk to people, go online, and there are limitless resources that can help you with your situation. Websites like Reach Out Recovery are especially aimed at helping out those who are on a quest to redeem themselves.
Fill In The Gaps
Once you have understood that you need to make up for lost time, start right away. Sit down with your family members, either individually or all together, and ask them to fill you in about all that happened in their lives that you missed being a part of. Pay attention to your significant other, your children, your parents, and even your pets. Say thanks to them for sticking it out with you—make them feel like you want to be a part of their lives again.
Brave The Anger
It is only natural that your family members may initially be angry with you, and that is okay. Sit down with them and have them talk to you, clear out their hearts and minds, just lay it all out in the open, because once that is done, everyone can now start afresh. Some words may cut you to the bone, but remember that it is essential for the ugly truths to be out before you may start repairing what is broken.
So go on, take the first step today, and re-create the perfect family that you deserve.