The nearest and dearest people to our hearts are the last people in the world that we would ever want to hurt. Yet time and time again, while in active substance abuse, we hurt our family and friends, usually in ways we never intended. We drink or use drugs even more to try to numb the pain of hurting them, which often leads to more behaviors that hurt them more. It can be a vicious cycle. So how do I stop hurting the people I love?
Motivation for Healing
The most effective way to stop hurting the people we love is to seek treatment for our addiction. That is really the answer.
If we are not in control of our words and actions because we have given that control to our substances, then we cannot guarantee that we will not hurt our loved ones again. Watching the disappointment, hurt, and anger in the faces of those most precious to us hurts. Unfortunately, it often takes them giving us an ultimatum or perhaps even walking out on us to give us the motivation that we need to get help and heal.
It does not need to be this way. We do not have to hurt them anymore, or at least we can prevent the pain incurred due to the use of substances and their related behaviors. If we truly want to find a way to stop hurting them we have to stop hurting ourselves. We must truly motivate ourselves to seek treatment and healing from our addiction.
How Pain Begets More Pain
Substance abuse truly is a cycle of pain. We typically begin substance abuse due to pain within us, whether it be past abuse or trauma, pain surrounding past choices, the loss of someone, or any other painful experiences that we may have. This pain is the springboard for substance abuse, which causes more pain, to both ourselves and those we love.
The pain that we create due to our words and actions while in substance abuse is preventable. The pain that sparked our substance abuse is treatable. The pain cycle can be broken. It does not have to be this way. We can remove the pain related to substance abuse by being willing to begin a recovery journey to break the cycle of pain.
Ending the Cycle of Hurting
A cycle of addiction and pain is difficult to break because it has become our way of life. Most of the pain is not a conscious choice and actually may not be within our control when we are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yet the power to end the cycle of hurting lies within our hands, we only need to make the decision and ask for the help we need.
As we work to end the cycle of pain related to addiction, we are also changing our future and the future of our families and friends. The less pain we cause our loved ones, the less likely they are to also turn to substances to try to numb the pain that we caused, and so on. With the courage to end our own pain cycle, we can also break the larger cycle within our friends and family as well.
Regaining Trust With Loved Ones
Once we have engaged in our own recovery, we will need to repair the trust broken by pain within our relationships with loved ones. This is difficult because their forgiveness is their own choice, their own process, and it may not match up with our efforts. We also have to know that some relationships cannot be mended and that it is within the agency of the other people that we love.
Regaining trust looks like asking for forgiveness, making amends wherever possible, and then demonstrating integrity. Showing up for them and following through with promises made will go a long way to demonstrate the changes within us outwardly. It is unfair to ask them, especially after enduring possibly years of pain at our hands, to trust us immediately in our recovery. Healing is a process, it takes time, and healing relationships also rely upon both parties’ efforts.
Mending Relationships in Recovery
Once we have begun to regain the trust of those we previously hurt, we can work to mend the relationships. It will be work, and we will have to have patience, but healing after so much pain can also cause an even deeper bond between our loved ones and us. As we gain the skills in our own recovery, we are more capable of offering the olive branch of healing to those we love.
How do I stop hurting the people I love? By healing myself first. You cannot expect to gloss over deep wounds and only offer surface-level healing in the relationships with those you love. The healing has to be a deep, total healing from your own pain before you can stop hurting the people that you love. The possibility that trust can be regained and relationships mended hinges first and foremost on your own healing from your own pain. At Rancho Milagro Recovery, one of our most important goals is to help you heal your pain and to help you stop hurting yourself and those you love in addiction. Call (951) 526-4582 to talk to our compassionate staff about beginning your healing now. You have everything to lose in the relationships of those you love, but you also have everything to gain in your own healing and also mending the relationships with your loved ones.