Recovery often leaves us with a profound sense of obligation and the need for atonement. We think about the things that we may have done to our friends and family when we were actively abusing drugs and alcohol, and we can get overwhelmed by the amount of work we have to do to repair our relationships. Along the way, we may even fall into the mindset that we aren’t actually in recovery for us, rather for our family and our loved ones. As noble and selfless as we think this line of thinking is, it can be dangerous and put at our long-term recovery in serious jeopardy.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using our family and friends as a source of strength and support during our recovery. But when start thinking of our sobriety as something that we’re doing for someone else, no matter who they are or how important they are to us, we run the risk of becoming less invested in our recovery and ourselves. We also run the risk of building resentment toward our loved ones when things don’t go exactly was we planned. We’re going to have days when we’re vulnerable, and we want to avoid thoughts like: “Well I wouldn’t even have to go through this if it weren’t for them.” Our resentment will soon be directed outward and we run the risk of damaging our relationships even more.
At the beginning and the end of the day, we have to want our recovery for ourselves and the rest will fall into place. If we invest the time, energy, and emotional capital in our selves and recognize that we are worth saving regardless of what we’ve done or what anyone else may think of us, we will start building the foundation of a strong recovery and a fulfilling life. We can’t of this journey as something we have to do for someone else, because when those relationships strain, so do the efforts we employ to preserve them. If we live our lives and pursue our dreams with our happiness and mind, first and foremost, we will significantly lower our chances of losing our way.