Addiction – Pursuing Healthy Relationships

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Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Being in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol often involves rebuilding, restructuring, and transforming one’s life from the inside out.

While the initial phase of recovery from addiction typically focuses on physical healing, rehabilitation, and medical stabilization, recovery also involves emotional and psychological healing as well.

Throughout the recovery process from addiction, it becomes more transparent that support is crucial and needed to stay grounded and focused on the journey.

Relearning Life Experiences

For many individuals in recovery, growth and healing often comes with relearning how to approach life experiences in a healthy manner and with positive coping skills. This also involves the process of rebuilding relationships that may have been impacted by an addiction as well as pursuing healthy relationships.

As the understanding of what a healthy relationship involves is often distorted by addictive behaviors, it is helpful to know what factors you should consider when establishing new relationships while in recovery.

Developing Healthy Relationships

Healthy relationships are always based on honesty, trust, open communication, and respect. These are traits that are commonly lost in relationships in which one or both people are struggling with addiction behaviors. Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol often causes manipulation in relationships, which overrides any basis of trust or honesty.

Tragically, many relationships that are influenced by addiction often become broken or destroyed unless there is an intervention with the addictive behaviors.

Working with a Therapist

Couple_at_City_Hall_(2793892490)The good news is that restoration of relationships and the pursuit of healthier relationships are both possible with recovery from addiction and substance abuse. Perhaps you have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol for such a long period of time that you are unsure as to what a healthy relationship looks like.

In this case, you may benefit from working with a therapist or counselor who specialize in addiction recovery.

These professionals can help guide you in your own life and in your recovery journey as you work towards putting back the pieces of relationships. Remember that meaningful and healthy relationships happen gradually over time and are possible with commitment and dedication.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What aspects do you think are important and necessary in the pursuit of healthy relationships? How does being in recovery allow for the possibility of healthy relationships to be formed?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 26th, 2015
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