Forgiving your loved one for some of the things they may have said or did as a result of their addiction can be tough. Yet forgiveness is a big part of their recovery, as an addict must find self-forgiveness. Forgiving them also helps you to begin to move forward with your own life—free of anger and bitterness. In honor of National Forgiveness Day on October 25th, here are some ways you can forgive your addicted loved one.
1. Work on fully understanding addiction
You’d be surprised at what you learn when you make an effort to understand addiction. This will help put you in your addicted loved one’s shoes, and therefore give you a better perspective of things from their view. You’ll learn that addiction is indeed a disease, and how the hurtful actions and words of your addicted loved one were not their true self.
As strong as you likely are, this type of forgiveness is something you shouldn’t attempt to do alone. Whether it’s finding a support group, a close friend to talk to, seeing a therapist, attending counseling or anything similar, it’s key to seek help when forgiving an addict. Researching and reading books and various blogs is another avenue that can help you and your forgiveness.
3. Do not wait for your addicted loved one to make things right
Waiting for your addicted loved one to fix your relationship only holds you back. Don’t forget that part of you electing to forgive them is for your own emotional well-being. Waiting on your addicted loved one to say their sorry only will keep you away from true happiness longer. Also, your addicted loved one needs your help, so showing your forgive them will offer them a ton of relief.
4. Take down your mental scoreboard
You probably remember the hurtful words your addicted loved one said to you, their lies and the damaging things they did to you. However, as they recover, do not frequently bring these things up to keep reminding them. For starters, talking about the past continuously will certainly keep you from getting over it yourself. Next, it’s just going to put a ton of pressure and guilt on your loved one and make them feel judged and convicted, which is definitely not good for their recovery.
5. Don’t rush it
You need time to heal, and fully forgiving your addicted loved one will not be an overnight process. If you find yourself wrestling with forgiveness, then it’s probably too soon. You can’t let your resentment and pain simmer for an extended period of time, but you can’t hurry this process either.
6. Appreciate your new strength
Upon examining your circumstances and what you’ve gone through, you’ll notice this experience has made you a better and stronger person. You’ve grown. You’re smarter. You’re wiser! It’s crucial that you use this experience to become a better human being. Once you realize all this, it will become easier to forgive your addicted loved one.
If you or your loved one are struggling with an addiction, call The Discovery House today at (888) 962-8208.