The Role of Forgiveness in Addiction Recovery

Jump to Section

A woman embraces her mother.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Addiction is a chronic condition, the effects of which can spread from the person with an addiction to their loved ones. 

If you or someone close to you is struggling with addiction, you can increase the chances of recovery by offering and accepting forgiveness. 

Why Forgiveness Matters

If you don’t forgive yourself, you are more likely to harbor negative thoughts about yourself and have low self-esteem, which can lead to relapse. If you truly believe that you are a bad person or you’re incapable of change, it’s more likely that you will see every setback as confirmation of the incorrect belief and let it stop your progress.

If you have a family member who has struggled with addiction, you need to forgive them so that you can repair the relationship and support them in their recovery. Individuals are more likely to complete drug and alcohol rehab programs and maintain sobriety long-term if they have support and involvement from their family or close friends.

Forgiveness in Addiction Recovery: Forgiveness of the Self and Others

When you seek professional help for addiction, many of the therapeutic opportunities you have provide a chance for deep reflection and getting to know yourself. During these sessions, you’ll have a chance to review what aspects of your life may have contributed to addiction, how your addiction may have hurt those around you, and what negative automatic thoughts you have about yourself.

Forgiving Yourself

Negative automatic thoughts like guilt and shame can come from knowing that you have stumbled along your path and chosen things that have hurt yourself or others. It’s not uncommon to let these feelings define who you are when struggling with addiction, but it shouldn’t be that way.

With addiction, your full recovery comes when you learn to forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. By forgiving yourself, you can learn to build your self-esteem and recognize your true potential.

Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy can include sessions where you identify negative automatic thoughts stemming from low self-esteem and feelings of resentment or shame about yourself. You can learn strategies for changing these automatic thoughts to positive versions and forgiving yourself.

Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone has failures, but they’re only bad if you can’t learn from them, and you can’t learn from them if you don’t learn to forgive yourself.

Forgiving Others

If you have a loved one who has struggled with addiction, you also play an important role in recovery. Addiction and forgiveness are concepts that have to apply to everyone who is touched by the chronic condition.

If your spouse, parent, sibling, child, or even close friend has struggled with addiction and is in recovery, you’ll need to be aware of how important it is for you to offer them forgiveness for mistakes they have made. This might take place in family therapy sessions or support group sessions.

It’s not uncommon for addiction to cause a great deal of mistrust, damage relationships, hinder communication, and make every party involved feel as though they are stuck and can’t move forward or rebuild their bonds. But forgiveness in addiction recovery helps rebuild these broken aspects of relationships.

Addiction and Forgiveness with The Differents

In each of our programs at our Nevada addiction treatment center, clients benefit from several therapies, including forgiveness in addiction recovery. 

With our Reno partial hospitalization program, intensive outpatient program, and withdrawal management programs, clients can enjoy holistic treatment, including:

  • Outdoor therapy
  • IV infusions
  • Recreational therapy
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Energy work
  • Meditation
  • Sound Baths

Each of these holistic treatments is there to enhance forgiveness in addiction recovery by encouraging self-awareness–so that you might know better what you need from those around you–and reflections on what has led to addiction–so that you might ask forgiveness of those who were affected by it.

Forgiveness plays an essential role in moving forward in recovery. Without it, you will find yourself tripping emotionally and mentally over barriers on your path that won’t be resolved until forgiveness is given. At The Differents, we know that addiction and forgiveness go hand in hand, so we work hard to ensure you can achieve it during your time with us. Contact us today to learn more about forgiveness in addiction recovery and how our holistic care can put you on the right path.

More About the Author

Check Your Insurance Benefits Right Now

Fill out the form below to find out your coverage options for treatment.