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Before recovery, how does addiction destroy trust?

In the course of their recovery, people with psychiatric or substance use disorders frequently struggle with their ability to trust both themselves and other people. First off, it’s possible that circumstances in the past involving dysfunctional family structures and sexual abuse are to blame for this. Many people grew up in families where it was either unsafe to trust others or where trust was broken easily. Many men and women receiving treatment had been sexually abused as children.

A person who has endured abuse, abandonment, and violations will inevitably build barriers to the outside world and romantic connections. These defensive behaviors can undermine trust and keep a person from experiencing the intimacy with others that they want or even crave. A person may mistakenly believe they are not “good” enough to be protected against violence, abuse, or neglect, which makes them feel unworthy of forming trusting relationships.

Second, a person who has kept family secrets might feel burdened by the lack of trust. Children may be told that their emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and even what they have seen and heard are false or untrue in families where addiction or psychiatric disorders are concealed. 

This might change how a person interacts with others in the long run. They might start to value other people’s beliefs more because they start to suspect that their own conceptions of reality are flawed. When you do not trust yourself, it is very challenging to trust others. You may lose trust in the majority of people in your life if those closest to you are dishonest. Despite a sincere desire to quit drinking, the process of losing control of an addiction will involve breaking promises. This is distinct from knowingly lying. It is a component of the distorted thinking brought on by drug and alcohol abuse.

Last but not least, a pattern of untrustworthy actions and unhealthy connections contribute to a lack of self-confidence. 

It is impossible or not a top priority to have trust in a relationship where drugs and alcohol are the main factors. One outcome of the addictive process is a lack of trust. A person will believe that no one can be trusted until they realize that drugs and alcohol foster a climate of mistrust, suspicion, and paranoia.

The Benefits Of Self-Reflection

It is difficult for others to care about someone and share with them when they are unwilling to share themselves. Through gradual self-disclosure, it takes time and practice to build trust in both yourself and other people. Self-disclosure involves not only sharing information with another person but also letting others know about things they might not otherwise know or find out. 

Risk and vulnerability on the part of the person sharing the information are also factors in self-disclosure.

Therefore, self-disclosure does not involve letting everything hang out, divulging one’s deepest secrets, ruminating on one’s past, sharing every fleeting emotion toward others, or sharing stories about oneself that are irrelevant to the other group members. Self-disclosure, on the other hand, refers to the act of exposing oneself to others, of sharing thoughts, feelings, and reactions to what is occurring in a therapeutic or group environment, as well as of sharing one’s present challenges, issues, goals, happy moments, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as the significance of specific personal experiences.

Positive Criticism in Therapy

Even though those in recovery might feel at ease with trust and sharing personal information, they might not be eager to solicit feedback. Maybe they just need to vent. A common method of processing issues is talking about them. A person can test the truth of who they are, see more clearly how they appear to others, and develop as a person by seeking and receiving positive feedback from others.

If feedback is not requested, it cannot be accepted, it cannot be applied, and it is unlikely to make the recipient feel better about themselves, it is not helpful. 

Feedback is also not intended to be hurtful or deceptive. If so, this reveals more about the person providing the feedback than it does about the person receiving it. Focusing on people’s strengths rather than their flaws is really the main goal of feedback. It’s important to refrain from psychologizing, making assumptions, and criticizing the motives, behaviors, or actions of others when providing feedback. Because critical feedback has the potential to hurt others intentionally or unintentionally and undermine faith in recovery, it must be non-threatening.

In actuality, I actually preferred the concept of accountability over accountability itself. I wanted someone who was willing to put in more effort than I did toward my program without being obnoxious enough to point that out. Without experiencing the short-term disruptions that come with long-term change, I wanted to redefine normal in my life.

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