If you find yourself unsure about your friend or partner’s commitment to recovery from substance addiction then there is probably a reason to be worried. Maintaining sobriety is never easy for a person in recovery and the struggle is often noticeable. The potential for a recovering addict to experience a relapse is always present.
A recovering addict may say that he or she is putting in all the effort they can into getting their life back, but their actions and general demeanor may speak differently. Building trust in a friend or partner who may not be very open or honest about their lives may be quite challenging as they have the tendency to lie about their condition.
The rates of relapse are extremely high, and an addict in recovery may start off really well but when they get exposed to triggers they may begin to change while fighting the cravings. The truth about recovery is that it is quite unmistakable, everything changes.
A life of recovery is a newfound life where a former addict learns to prioritize the part of his or her life that actually matters, paying less attention to frivolities that previously led to the addiction in the first place. How can you learn to trust an addict again? What are the signs that must be seen in order to determine if they are really committed to the healing process? Here is how to tell if an addict is serious about recovery:
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There are certain traits that a person battling an addiction would possess, which is usually different than a person is in recovery. As far as attitude is concerned here are tips to look out whether they are serious about recovery.
Addiction has an effect on a person’s personality and a person who is only putting up a show to make him look sober may become defensive when you ask personal questions such as “are you sure you are feeling okay?” These individuals usually see these questions as confrontational and would be quick to defend themselves about their efforts to stay sober.
On the other hand, a person who is working hard at staying sober faces a lot of challenges and shows vulnerability which is a sign that they are doing all they can toward improving their health.
2. Seeking Resolution Instead of being right
A part of what addicts learn at the 12 step program is to let go of certain behavioral patterns and accept what is best for recovery. This means that a recovering person would be more interested in resolving an issue rather than enforcing their own opinion as to the ultimate.
3. No more Excuses
Justifying bad behaviors and giving reasons for inappropriate conduct are some of the traits of a person who is yet to realize that their addiction has a toxic effect on their life and relationships.
When a person takes full responsibility for their actions it is often detectable in their behavior. They stop making excuses about difficult situations and takes actions that are geared towards quick recovery from addiction.
Communication in Recovery
Communication gaps are one of the most noticeable things in people with an addiction problem. Here are some communication changes that show he is serious about recovery:
1. Gaslighting ceases
Gaslighting is a reverse psychology technique that an addict can use to make you feel guilty for thinking that they may be using drugs again, basically making you seem paranoid and over the top for even raising up issues about their behavior.
When a recovering addict stops showing signs of gaslighting then they are ready to turn over a new page in their lives and aim towards a healthy relationship.
2. No More Lies
An addict often feels shame about talking about their vulnerability and their problems with maintaining sobriety so they may lie about their commitment to the recovery process or about their daily activities and other related things. Lies become a defense mechanism to get away from feeling ashamed of their condition or developing low self-esteem.
Learning to come clean and be honest about certain an addiction challenge is one of the ways that a recovering addict can prove their seriousness about sobriety.
3. Improvement in Communication
Communication barriers are one of the prominent issues when dealing with a person who is struggling with addictions. Typically, the individual in question isn’t very accommodating when the topic of the discussion is centered on them.
Connection with Other People
Generally, one of the traits of a person with an addiction to drugs is the disconnection from friends and family. What sort of changes would be noticed by someone who is making conscious recovery efforts?
Rather than the usual isolation and cutting off friends, the person in question starts to build new friendships. Isolation is borne of shame and emotional instability, as well as the fear of judgment.
A recovering addict may pull away from old friends whose lifestyles are possible triggers for their addiction. They prioritize a healthy lifestyle, which usually begins with keeping the right set of friends that motivate them to a higher sense of purpose.
The recovering addict may also begin to reach out to old friends whom they had cut ties with because of the addiction; repairing old meaningful friendships is a sign of improvement in the recovery process.
Recovery comes with a deep need to make things right, and the 12-step program addresses all the inhibitions of recovery, labeling isolation, and poor connections as limiting factors to recovery.
Reopening communications and apologizing to old friends for possible harm done to relationships is a healthy way to heal and invite them back into one’s life, and a definite sign of recovery.
Actions in Recovery
Efforts are determined by the actions taken towards recovery. Actions may be progressive or retrogressive. It usually starts with a decision to do better, and then followed by conscious actions. Sometimes a person on recovery may want to recover but yet unable to give up certain habits and lifestyle that has been their source of happiness for a long time. A person who likes to attend certain events that may trigger their addiction may end up falling into a relapse if they keep attending such events.
Making a decision to be sober can be challenging as this often involves a complete restructure of lifestyle, schedules, habits, and interests. One would have to make lots of sacrifices and substitutions in what was usually their norm. Some of the actions that are expected in a recovering addict include:
· Keeping up with scheduled recovery meetings such as Alcohol Anonymous
· Attending therapy sessions with a counselor
· Studying books that provide more enlightenment on recovery
· Having a plan to remain sober; this can be a written plan
· Developing empathy for one’s partner and reaching out to friends
· Showing some evidence of sobriety; this can be in the form of anniversary chips for staying sober
· Being open about his feeling and challenges, talking to a counselor or an accountability sponsor
· Prioritizing his recovery by making the right choices and being considerate of other people’s feelings and opinion towards them
· Showing that they can be dependable, trustworthy and showing honesty at all times
These are some ways to know if an addict is serious about recovery, and if they are having trouble staying sober, it is best to see a counselor immediately to prevent relapse.