Recovery is a complex process, and even alumni who have graduated from one of Hawaii Island Recovery’s addiction treatment programs in Hawaii will still be tasked with overcoming several challenges in their pursuit of a sustainable and fulfilling sober life. Many will still be employing strategies to cope with regular urges or cravings, while others continue their healing journey by repairing personal relationships and addressing past mistakes. This is an important step, and knowing when it is time to make amends with others is paramount for a person’s own recovery, their relationships, and their commitment to a sober future.
Why It Is Important to Make Amends
Truly transformative recovery from addiction and substance use disorder (SUD) is a difficult journey. Not only must an individual find new ways to challenge previously self-destructive behaviors and abstain from drugs, alcohol, and the culture or outlets that enabled their use but each alumnus must also address the effects of addictive substances on mental health and personal relationships. Knowing when to make amends is crucial in addressing past mistakes and healing these relationships.
Making amends not only empowers alumni to address past mistakes and start anew in sobriety but also can restart these relationships in sobriety with a newfound sense of accountability, honesty, and purpose. Gaining the skills to make amends can also help address lingering feelings of shame, guilt, and more, allowing oneself and friends, family, or loved ones to move on from past mistakes and embrace the potential of forgiveness.
However, when each person chooses to make amends with others is another important decision. There are some skills that each alumnus can practice to determine when they are ready to make amends with those they feel they have wronged in their journey to a fulfilling sober future.
Balancing work life and continued veteran recovery can be difficult. Learn how our Hawaii rehabilitation programs can help by calling (866) 390-5070 today.More info
When to Make Amends
Whether an individual is navigating the steps of AA or is following their own path of recovery and sobriety, when each person chooses to begin to make amends is crucial. However, it is necessary to ensure that each individual themselves is ready to commit to such a step.
While it can be tempting to try to repair these relationships as quickly as possible, each person will need time to heal – both those in recovery as well as family, friends, and loved ones. Trying to make amends too early in recovery can compromise the efficacy of these efforts, and can be risky. Pursuing making amends only after each individual is sure they will be able to maintain their sober changes and dedication is paramount to repairing these relationships rather than further compromising trust.
Maintain a Stable Sobriety
The sober journey is difficult, filled with not just constant urges and cravings, but also emotional challenges like anxiety, depression, guilt, and more. Employing an array of practiced coping strategies and continuing to refine strategies based on what works is paramount to ensure that each individual can maintain their hard-earned sobriety even across new or unforeseen challenges.
To make effective amends, each individual must not only express a genuine desire to change but also the practiced skills necessary to show that sustained change and healing are possible, with daily effort put into managing stress and other challenges while staying sober.
Be Ready to Confront Discomfort
To make amends with others, an individual must be emotionally prepared to address the consequences of their actions and the feelings of guilt, shame, and more that come with these conversations. Each alumnus must be mentally and emotionally ready to address specifically how an individual wronged another and the exact impact of specific actions to effectively make amends. Using blanket apologetic statements can often do little to legitimize another’s feelings, and can compromise these efforts.
However, navigating these emotional discomforts and addressing these specific actions can be the best way to reach a shared understanding of the effects of each person’s actions and create an honest and open dialogue moving forward.
Knowing when to make amends also means knowing if another is ready and open to receiving these efforts. Each person will heal at their own rate, and those in recovery cannot force others to embrace forgiveness before they are ready. If loved ones are not prepared to open such discussions, respecting these boundaries and allowing friends, family, or loved ones to continue processing at their own rate can be the best approach to the situation.
This may mean that healing and the reparations of these relationships can take more time than an alumnus may want. However, forcing the situation on those not yet ready to forgive or address past mistakes can further schism these relationships, rather than heal them.
Continuing Commitment to Change
Just like the sober journey as a whole, amends are an ongoing, evolving part of recovery through Hawaii Island Recovery. Continuing to showcase each alumnus’s commitment to change by attending outpatient treatment and group therapy, exploring new hobbies, refining established coping skills, and more is crucial. Working on personal skills and change whether or not another is ready for an alumnus to make amends can be the best approach to genuine, sustainable change.
Making amends is an important step of any effective recovery program, even as an alumnus. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we know that the journey with addiction recovery and sobriety is ongoing, and we are committed to helping you explore your own best skills, strategies, and healing to begin your journey of making amends in recovery. Our treatment programs in Hawaii understand that personal and familial healing are important, and blend personal, emotional, mental, and spiritual healing practices into every step of treatment and recovery. For more information on how we can personalize your time with us, or for more information on how we can continue to support you as an alumnus in your sober journey, call (866) 390-5070.