Chances are that if you are reading this you are an addict. And there is also a good chance that you have damaged relationships as you pursued your addiction.
Healing from addiction may also lead to the healing of relationships. I have seen many recovering addicts make remarkable progress in repairing the damage done by their addiction. For couples, I have seen addicts become so attuned to their spouse’s wounds that they have become a catalyst for healing. Selfishness that was a hallmark of their addiction takes a backseat to selflessness.
But one of the sad realities is that some relationships may be so damaged by addiction that they can never be repaired. Crying, praying, fretting, getting angry–and all of the other things that may be attempted do not change the fact that the relationship is damaged beyond repair.
The part of the Serenity Prayer that is the hardest for many to wrap their head around is the part that speaks of “accepting the things I cannot change.”
Remember, you are not your addiction. And as you give yourself completely to a lifestyle of recovery, you can take comfort in the fact that as you look back on the wreckage of failed relationships that you are not continuing those destructive behaviors.
A person in a 12-step meeting gave an affirmation he learned to use when tempted to ruminate about past problem behavior and the pain he had caused others. That affirmation is simple but powerful.
“And I don’t do that any more!”