Recovery is not just about me; it is about my relationships with others. When I came into recovery, I had used every relationship for whatever I could get out of it. Whether it was money, trust, or a ride. It really didn’t matter to me. These were obviously not healthy relationships. I did not know how to have relationships with other people. There was no limitation to how far I would abuse relationships. It was not because I did not care about the people around me, I just did not know what having a healthy relationship was.
When I entered recovery, I was alone. I lost all of my friends and associates. I cannot blame them for not wanting to be around me while I was destroying my life. After I started to work on myself and my mind began to clear, I tried to make some new friends. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. I can remember times in my past where it took me some time to loosen up before I could actually start a conversation with someone new. Coming into recovery was one of the most amazing things I had ever done for myself. It was also one of the most difficult learning experiences. It was difficult because it was like being a kid again on the first day of school, filled with anxiety and wondering if people will like you. I remember thinking about what it actually meant to be a friend, and what a healthy relationship was.
My past understanding of relationships was very skewed. Not because my parents did not instill morals and values in me from when I was a child, but my perception had changed and all the experiences that I had gone through clouded my judgment. Now it was time to start over. This was a learning process that took some time. I had to let go of old feelings, open my heart, and trust people. What a profound order, I thought! Trust is such an important part of relationships, and for a long time, I would not allow anyone to have my trust. It took me being really uncomfortable and vulnerable with people to begin developing healthy relationships.
Trust is a critical piece in developing relationships, but there are many more factors. Not only do I need to trust others, but they need to trust me also. Relationships are a two-way street. Trust, communication, understanding, and acceptance of one another are key components of building relationships. This includes all relationships friends, family, significant others and even work relationships. I began to practice some of these simple concepts in my personal relationships and I began to be freed from the fear of being hurt. It was like I had a better understanding of myself because of getting to know others. I could finally understand what it meant to trust someone with your heart and with your life.
I have a host of close friends all over the country today. People that I don’t get to see very often, but people that at a moments notice I can call on and they can call on me. THAT is what having relationships are all about – caring for one another through the good, the bad, and the indifferent. We have to be able to lean on one another. The first step to building those amazing relationships is allowing others to get to know you, not just the surface, but what is underneath as well. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, others will reciprocate. The result is we all grow together on this amazing journey of recovery!
Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431