The recovering addict has left the rehabilitation center. Their body is now clear of the toxins and their mind is ready to take on the world once again. This doesn’t mean the past is all gone. It still has the potential to haunt this person.
Drug addiction is a powerful force for many stuck under its thrall. For example, narcotic painkillers bind to opiate receptors in the brain which are typically bound by special hormones called neurotransmitters. When drugs such as vicodin or oxycontin are used for a long period of time, the body slows down production of neurotransmitters and makes the body less effective in relieving pain on its own. That is because narcotic painkillers fool the body into thinking it already has enough transmitters. Once an addict finds a way to reject this process and get help, there is still the painful path of the body readjusting back to its natural processes. There is also the emotional journey of accepting life the way it’s supposed to be.
Before accepting the problem as something to be treated, it can be common for an addict to hurt the ones around them. For example, drug addiction is far from a cheap hobby for many. To fuel this problem, they may steal from family members. A family member may feel guilty saying “no” to a relation if they ask for money or resources to fuel a bad habit. However it happens, this kind of enabling not only perpetuates the addiction but will eventually grow into resentment.
When a recovering addict looks back at those times, there can be extreme guilt. They will think about the pain they have caused and wonder how they could ever make it right. Family members may perpetuate this train of thought, giving the person “guilt trips” long after the incidents happened. In this case, it is essential for families to learn forgiveness of a recovering drug addict:
It is important to remember to try and even if a stumble occurs, simply get back up and keep trying. Forgiveness, like recovery, is a road everyone walks on and it is one that never really ends. Staying vigilant and making the effort is really the most important step toward finally having peace in one’s life.