Regaining the Trust of Others and Trust in Oneself

Regaining the Trust of Others and Trust in OneselfRegaining the trust of others and trust in oneself is one of the things in recovery that takes time, and how much can never be said for sure. It’s also not a guarantee, though if the 12 Steps are practiced on a daily basis, it’s definitely likely. As you probably already know, trust is something that can be destroyed in a second but take months, even years, to rebuild.

I lost the trust of my father almost immediately after I started drinking and using at fourteen. Not surprisingly, since I had to start lying about almost everything to continue my lifestyle, which consisted of booze, drugs, skipping school and sneaking out at every opportunity.

This was an extremely difficult time for my dad and I. When two people have to live together but don’t trust each other at all, it can make for some very strained moments. It felt like we were constantly at war with each other. He felt disrespected and scared, while I felt misunderstood and resentful. At the time I thought my dad and I would never get along again. I thought he was a closed minded tyrant.

But now, seven years and one long road later, my dad is my best friend! I tell him almost everything, and I love spending time with him and asking his advice. But to get to this point it’s taken a little over three years of me being sober and several rounds of the 12 Steps. To trust me again, my dad had to see over an extended period of time that I was truly changing my life for the better. He had to spend time with me and experience my changed perspective for himself. But most importantly, in my opinion, we had to begin to actually communicate.

Even when it was scary, I opened up to him and began to share my life with him. I started sharing my feelings and my thoughts and dreams and fears. I talked to him about my relationship problems and my successes. I told him where I was going and with who and when I would be back. In turn, he opened up to me, and started sharing who he is. In that way, we have rebuilt our relationship into something stronger and better than I could have ever imagined.

Being rigorously honest one day at a time is the surefire way to rebuild trust in ANY relationship.

I believe this also applies to my relationship with myself. This is something I am still struggling with and working on daily. I betrayed and hurt myself even worse than I did anyone else. I spent a lot of time lying and fooling myself about what was really going on and what I was actually feeling.

But my relationship with myself is getting better. The best way I’ve discovered so far to start repairing my self-trust is to follow my heart, my intuition, no matter what anyone else is saying or doing. This is something I do imperfectly and inconsistently because I still struggle with trying to please other people. But I hold it in my consciousness as something to always shoot for, and I know that the more I take care of myself and the more honest I am about what I want and need, the faster I’m going to have a strong foundation or self trust, which seems to be the same thing as self confidence. It feels the same anyway!

For me, trust in my Higher Power is tied right in with trusting myself. It took me nearly a year in recovery before I could bring myself to start praying and talking to my God. But once I did, my relationship with my Higher Power has grown steadily but surely. I’ve found that the more I consciously pray and literally talk to God, the more connected I feel to that Source. It’s just like any other relationship – it takes time, honesty and effort – and just a little bit of faith that everything is really going to be okay.

About the Author

  • I watched our family slowly get torn apart by not just my sister?s drug use, but my older brother?s alcoholism as well and as I was extremely close with both of them, it affected me greatly. I HAD to cut the ties with my sister to protect my own sanity because I would not eat or sleep properly trying to follow her around when she got high to make sure she was okay. I would get so stressed worrying about what/when she would come to the house and try to steal while she was there, that I had to put a padlock on my bedroom door. I even risked my life by stepping into a domestic violence situation with her involving a gun?it was just crazy.

    I totally understand the skepticism because I?ve been there. My sister had been in every rehab known to man and got so good at ?playing the game of sobriety? that she knew just what to say & do to get through the program and back out to her next high. I was angry at my parents for always sticking by her, but the love of a parent and the love of a sibling are two very different things and I only understood that as I got older and she got clean.

    She has been clean for over 10 years now, and while we have reconciled and are better now, our relationship will never be the same as it was because the addiction robbed us of that extremely close bond. All the same, I am so very proud of her and know how very hard she worked and works to stay clean.