incredible-marketing Arrow
How Our Bonds Hold Us Back

Sometimes as we’re working to recover, we come up against certain impediments that we feel are holding us back, contributing to our addictive patterns and triggering us to relapse. We might feel that they are adding to our depression, anxiety, grief or anger, all of which can be emotional triggers that we use our drugs of choice to manage. We might have longstanding habits that we find hard to break. One of our toughest challenges when it comes to our recovery, one of the ways in which we feel most held back, is in the relationship bonds we have. We might have toxic relationship dynamics that are fueling our addictions and mental health issues. We might have lingering relationship issues we have yet to resolve or don’t feel able to heal. There are countless reasons why our relationship bonds might be holding us back in our recovery.

Sense of Obligation

One of the ways in which our tight bonds hold us back is in the sense of obligation we feel to our loved ones. We feel an allegiance to them. They might have been there for us when we were going through tough times or supported us as we worked to get better. We can feel as though wanting to move on in our lives, in our sobriety, in the next phases of our lives, is a betrayal of our loved ones. Our relationships can be a source of anxiety and stress for us but are also full of love, and because of the history we share with our loved ones, we might feel guilty feeling as though we need to let them go.

Toxic Relationship Dynamics

Understandably, we would have a hard time figuring out how to navigate these particular relationships. When we have tight bonds with people, we form strong attachments to them. We not only love them, sometimes we can feel as though we need them. We might have codependent or needy relationship dynamics that are contributing to our unhappiness in the relationship, and our overall unwellness. We might have other toxic dynamics, harmful coping mechanisms, and self-destructive tendencies that we can’t help but impact one another with.

Patterns of Enabling

Of the countless different toxic dynamics we experience in these kinds of attachments, one of the most impactful when we’re dealing with addiction can be in how much we enable each other. We make excuses for each other’s wrongdoings and harmful behaviors, and we justify their mistreatment of us. We cover for each other and lie to other people on each other’s behalf, often to hide how severe our problems with addiction have actually become. We keep each other from getting help. We convince each other that we can get sober on our own, or that we’re not true addicts, we just need to learn moderation and balance. We tell ourselves our relationship will be happy again when we have more money, when we’re less stressed out, or when we’re no longer dealing with whatever life circumstance is making our lives more difficult at the moment. For many of us, it’s a never-ending cycle of recurring issues, both life issues we feel we have no control over, and relationship issues that are taking a huge toll on our health.

Emotional Challenges

When we’re in this unique kind of situation, we have so many different emotional challenges to contend with. We don’t want to abandon the people we love and care about. We want to feel as though we’re honoring the important relationships in our lives and not doing anything to harm them. We want to uphold the agreements we’ve formed and keep the promises we’ve made. We feel, though, that the nature of our relationships is not good for us. Perhaps things have taken a turn for the worse for us over the years. Maybe we’ve both become unhappier or more stressed out in our own lives, and the relationship has suffered from each of our individual personal issues. There are so many different sources of relationship stress that can worsen over time, and we can find ourselves feeling as though the nature of our relationship is in direct conflict with our sobriety.

Reasons Why We Stay

Another way in which our attachments can hold us back in our recovery is in how much they keep us in our comfort zone, whether we’re conscious of it or not. We get very comfortable and complacent in our patterns of familiarity. It can be so much harder to do the difficult work of ending a relationship than to stay in it. A relationship where we’re comfortable, where things are familiar to us, where we know what to expect, where we’ve created a life with someone and where we feel safe. Sometimes we’re afraid of the pain that can come with a breakup. Sometimes we’re afraid of being alone. Many of us have deep-rooted fears of separation and abandonment. Many of us have histories of trauma in our families around separation, divorce, estrangement, and conflict that make us particularly vulnerable to the painful emotions around breakups. When we stay in these unhealthy relationship patterns, we’re also often trapped in addictive patterns as well because they very often are fueling each other. We find comfort and also escapism in our drugs of choice just as we do with our loved ones.  

Triggered to Relapse

When we’re in recovery but our partners aren’t, we can feel we’re being constantly retriggered to relapse, because they’re pressuring us to use, or because being around them serves as an ever-present reminder of how easy it can be to return to that drug in order to escape our pain, or to fall back into addictive behaviors to take our minds off of our emotions. Our strong relationship attachments can hinder our success, in part because we often live together and/or are very dependent upon one another. We might have gotten sober once before, or many times before, only to have our attachments reel us back into old patterns, whether because they were themselves a source of stress and anxiety that made us want to use again, or because they served as a form of peer pressure, facilitating, enabling, inviting and even coercing us to use again.

A huge part of our recovery work is figuring out which relationship bonds can survive the many tests of our sobriety and which we have to separate ourselves from because they’re hindering our recovery.

The Guest House is a welcoming and supportive recovery home where you will be met with open arms, wherever you are on your journey, without judgment or expectation.

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488