Drug relapse and recovery may be connected, and failure may be the key to success, but the cycle of addiction is so draining, and so disheartening, it can be hard to accept all that. After all of the lies and betrayal, we have a difficult time forgiving, or even wanting to try. How can you truly forgive someone, anyway? Forgiveness feels like saying “No problem, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
What Forgiveness Is Not
Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior, denying your emotions, or sparing the addict from the consequences of their actions. You don’t have to abandon your pride to forgive. The process of forgiveness may seem difficult in the face of everything you and your family have suffered; however, it’s a vital step for recovery. In order to heal, adolescents must learn to forgive themselves, while adults must learn to forgive them. Otherwise, all that fear, anger, and resentment will keep us stuck in the same destructive loop.
Forgive But Don’t Forget
Even after adolescents accept the physical, emotional, and financial damage they cause, a dark cloud can loom overhead for the friends and family who tried so desperately, for so long, to put them back on track. If you’re holding onto these bitter feelings, try to understand that they will only hinder your ability to have a full and healthy life. You don’t have to forget the past, nor should you. What you can do is learn the lessons available, set boundaries, and hold to them. Forgiveness means letting go of the anger inside of you so that you can find inner peace.
After someone hurts you, it’s natural to want to hold onto that pain as if it’s evidence. You want to show that person how much you’re suffering. But why allow an outside force to dictate how you feel within your own skin? It only hurts yourself.
Forgiveness Is A Journey
Resentment is not only a waste of time, but a major obstacle to overcome if you wish to achieve your goals. Once you quit enabling an addict’s disease and control your actions and thoughts, your path to freedom will become clearer and more attainable. Just don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself. If you find yourself holding onto a grudge, at least you’re aware of it and working on it. Resentment is just stale pain; it’s time for it to go.
Interested in family counseling sessions? It’s never a bad idea. Check out our website to get a sense of our available programs and give us a call. We’ve got solutions for adolescents who are ready to get back into the world after rehabilitation.