Making past wrongs right isn’t just for the benefit of the other person – it helps the one making amends, too.
While I went through the recovery process myself many years ago, I was inspired by the words I heard from those in leadership: “Trust God, clean house, serve others.” Those three steps aren’t just outward; they allow those struggling with the disease of addiction to restore their personal integrity, something that can easily get lost in the web of substance abuse.
While treatment plays a huge role in getting someone on the road to recovery, it doesn’t do the work for them. For people to really advance in the process, they need to come to grips with what they’ve done so they can be honest with themselves and have honest relationships going forward with family and friends.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. Some people are too guilt-ridden or scared to own up to past mistakes. They’re not ready. It takes a while to really digest the principles of making amends and being honest. As a therapist at The Oaks at La Paloma, there are a lot of ways to communicate that. Often, I start by talking about self-forgiveness, asking a client how they feel when someone comes to them and asks for forgiveness or says they’re sorry. Then they can turn the tables and think about how it will feel when they go and make amends for some of the damage their disease has caused.
The most important thing that happens here is the power of the group. Hearing about others going through the process is invaluable and reminds us all that we’re not alone on this journey.
Stephen Watts heads up The Oaks at La Paloma’s Professionals Program. A licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor as well as a master addictions counselor, Watts has experience working with field specialists suffering from co-occurring disorders.
Articles posted here are primarily educational and may not directly reflect the offerings at The Oaks. For more specific information on programs at The Oaks, contact us today.