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Don’t Burn Those Bridges in Early Recovery Until You’ve Read This

Don’t Burn Those Bridges in Early Recovery Until You’ve Read This

It can be fairly easy to burn a bridge without even realize it is happening in early recovery. There is often an eagerness to please, to show people you’ve really (really, truly) changed this time. Not everyone is as keen to believe you this time around, especially after all the other times you’ve really (really, truly) changed before, followed by more pain and trauma. When you learn some tools to stop burning those bridges, you might just see some progress in recovery (and relationships).

Build a Different Story

The best way to build a different story is to change the outcomes. Every person in your life may have a good reason not to trust or believe in what you are saying in recovery. After all, they may have “been there, done that” with you so many times, perhaps they are on the fence about this finally being ‘the time it sticks.’ What you need right now is to build a different story, one not focused on the same outcome. If your focus is to get people to listen to you (because you’ve changed this time) perhaps try a different tactic if this was the same one you used all those times before. Sometimes offering a bit of space up front and taking it more slowly speaks volumes rather than forcing it to happen, resulting in a burnt bridge (and ego, to boot).

Hurry Up and Slow Down

Taking care to not burn bridges requires not forcing anything open with a crowbar. A loved one needs time to fix things themselves. They need space, time, and healing. Some relationships may not be repairable, and you just have to live with that. When recovery happens, we have to be ready to accept that some bridges that are burned are not able to be fixed. As much as we want to give healthy space, they could come around if they see the changes, even when it is not forced. Treading bridges carefully is important, including:

  • Not calling people too much early on
  • Not going to their house if they expressed the need for space
  • Not emailing or doing anything else over the top to get attention for the moment

Allowing breathing room means letting that person sometimes come back to you rather than forcing them to open up on your timetable. They may need some time to pass by before are ready and willing to accept things are changing for the better (and forever) this time around. Giving space up front may just net bigger gains later in the relationship department.

It is hard to wait out relationships in early recovery. The best way to rebuild trust is to demonstrate through your actions you’ve changed. It can start with Serenity Oaks’ intensive 5 week program to support your sobriety and recovery from addiction. Through individualized programs we help you move forward in recovery. Call us to find out how we can help you get started: 844-720-6847.  

Serenity Oaks Wellness Center