Inevitably when we indulge ourselves in our addictions and associated behaviours we will hurt someone, if not many people in ways that are sometimes difficult for us and them to accept and forgive. Sometimes seeking forgiveness doesn’t go the way we plan, depending on who we have hurt and how we have hurt them. Forgiveness and seeking forgiveness are large parts of many addiction recovery programs, and often ‘Twelve Step’ programs for the likes of drug addicts and alcoholics feature some level of seeking forgiveness, or at least seeking out the opportunity to apologise for past actions.
Starting the Process
Ultimately, it is up to each individual as to whether they will forgive and forget and accept your apology, allowing you to enter new waters together as you embark on a repaired relationship. It’s important, and somewhat upsetting, to note that not everyone will accept your apologies and that’s okay. It can be incredibly hurtful for both parties – you for seeking out your friend or relative to apologise only to have it thrown back in your face; and them for having an apology from someone they have perhaps come to distrust, having been disappointed time and again.
It’s important to remember that everyone has their own ‘forgiveness timeline’. People may not appear to be overly receptive to apologies in the first instance, but given time, may come around and be more open to creating new relationships with you based on trust and forgiveness. Some people may never fully come around, and that’s okay as well. You can rest easy in yourself knowing that you have been a bigger person through seeking out the opportunity and following through with apologies, and that is something to be immensely proud of.
Moving On, With Or Without Forgiveness
Moving on from former friendships and relationships that have been damaged as a result of addictions may be somewhat more difficult. Depending on the relationship, it can have significant consequences. Many people have lost entire families and been forced to move on and essentially craft new entire lives, having to accept that former partners no longer want them to have contact with their children and the like. This can be a devastating event for someone who is making immense life changes in terms of dealing with addictions, but there is always help for those who suffer these types of situations. Many communities and doctor’s offices will offer counselling services and referrals to family interventions and the like, and can help you work towards some type of compromise if some parts of your family are not letting up on not letting you back in.
It’s always important to remember that you aren’t alone in your struggles with moving on from an addiction issue. In the world, today there are an increasing number of fantastic services and various assistance available to people with addiction issues who are struggling to find their way in the outside world as they get clean and learn how to navigate their lives again without drugs or alcohol. Online resources can additionally be very helpful, putting you in easy contact with people just like you who are learning the ropes of life again, and can provide support and camaraderie in the form of online forums and the like. So, don’t despair if you find yourself alone and struggling – you never know who you may meet that could help change your life if you seek out these resources.
Love & Compassion