Getting sober is a major achievement. But it's not easy. After all, addiction is a disease.
Anyone going through recovery has experienced the challenge of working the steps required to achieve sobriety. One of the most difficult steps can be the need to make amends with people who've been hurt by your addiction.
Making amends is only one of the 12 steps of recovery, and yet it is often the most painful.
This article takes a look at how to approach the most important people in your life to tell them you're sorry.
Deciding What You're Sorry For
The first step in making amends with someone you've hurt through your addiction is understanding how you've caused them pain. It's not enough to simply say you're sorry.
The person you're making amends with needs to be able to see that you understand how your actions caused them deep pain. Addicts often have a difficult time knowing specifically what they're apologizing for, and yet specifics are very important.
Being specific shows authenticity and helps to convey that you are indeed sorry for your actions.
Preparing Yourself for the Apology
Approaching someone to apologize to them is a big moment. It's vital that you've detoxed and have a clear head.
Keep in mind that recovery is an emotional process. You will likely feel a range of emotions, from anger and guilt to deep remorse and sadness. This is your time to come to terms with what you've done, and that isn't easy.
And you have to be prepared for the individual to whom you are apologizing be experiencing the same range of emotions. They might not be ready to hear your words. You have to consider how the other person feels, and allow them the freedom and space to express themselves due to the pain you've caused.
Have a Plan
Approaching someone you've hurt because of your addiction will be difficult. That's why it's wise to plan your words. Make a list of the things you want to remember to say. Because keep in mind that this will be a difficult moment for both of you, and you will likely stumble over your words and forget important things that you sincerely want to communicate to them.
Don't be afraid to express yourself on paper so that when the moment comes, you are able to be emotionally present and speak from the heart.
How to Make Amends
Recovery takes time and discipline. Each year thousands of people work the steps to help them rebuild their lives and reconnect with loved ones they've hurt with their addiction.
Learning how to make amends is a crucial part of the recovery process. This step is painful yet necessary. Listening to the advice in this article will make it easier to apologize to the people in your life you've hurt so that you are able to take the next step on the long road of being free from substance abuse.