A person in recovery from addiction tends to experience feelings more intensely. Why? Now that they are no longer medicating their feelings with drugs, alcohol, or fantasy, they are fragile. They’re more acutely aware of their own painful feelings rather than the pain they’ve inflicted upon others. It’s not a surprise, then, when they move on too quickly. Expecting others to trust them too soon is unrealistic—trust is to be earned and takes time.
So, individuals in recovery need to remember the years of pain, deceit, broken promises, and hardships created in their addiction. These events have hurt their loved ones more than they realize. Their loved ones require support throughout the healing process. No one can fix their loved ones or undo the damage they have done. But through recovery, there is an opportunity for healing in relationships.
Those in recovery often give their loved ones the power to dictate their feelings. If their loved one is hopeful, they’re hopeful. If a friend or family member is having a bad day, someone who is in recovery doesn’t feel they have the right to be happy.
While this is normal for a person to have many different feelings, it is unhealthy to take on others’ feelings. It can entrap them, keeping them from recognizing and celebrating what God is doing in them. As a result, it will be difficult—if not impossible—for them to leave shame in the past and fight the temptation to return to the addiction.
Therefore, the road to recovery is not a journey to walk alone. Sponsors, mentors, group members, and counselors can encourage them more than their loved ones can. But it requires time, energy, and a willingness to allow another person to speak into their lives. After all, many have walked the path of recovery and have wisdom and support to share.
Spending time with God in prayer, meditation, and the reading of His Word are indispensable tools for recovery. The Life Recovery Bible is a must-have Bible to read every day!
Step 2 says, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” It’s encouraging to know that there is hope for a better way of life! God can help restore the emotional challenges faced in recovery!