For many recovering addicts, one of the most difficult experiences associated with going to rehab is learning to make it through the apologizing portion of the rehab method. Some people find that if they have different ways that they can apologize during the process, it makes the experience a little easier for everyone involved. However, it’s important to understand that sometimes apologizing is never easy; it can be hard to admit that you’ve done things to hurt someone that you care about and it can be even more difficult to apologize for doing something that you may not even remember.
If you’re apologizing to a child or someone younger in your family, then it may be a little easier for you to work out your problems with them. Parents who are addicts typically have some issues with the idea of apologizing to their children because they feel so bad about what they might have done or how they might have treated their children when they were still a substance abuser. However, children tend to be very forgiving of their parents when they realize that the apologies are legitimate and from the heart. This can be a bit more difficult when dealing with teenagers, unfortunately. Teenagers are at an age where they’re able to reason more personally about actions taken against them, so if you were abusive to your teenage son or daughter during your substance abuse stages, it may be more difficult to work on apologies with them since they may not want to discuss these circumstances.
Regardless of who you are apologizing to, you can typically approach it in a similar way. Approach the individual and try to talk about how great your relationship used to be before you became addicted to the substances that you were abusing. Acknowledge that your addiction changed you and that you know you were behaving inappropriately during your addiction phase. If you have to, acknowledge the things that you did to that person during that period of addiction to show that you are aware and that you can admit what you did was wrong. Tell them that you are working on changing and that you never want to do those things again. Speak from your heart and apologize to them.
Another point to keep in mind here is that even though you are apologizing, it doesn’t mean that the other individual has to forgive you. Of course, it would be ideal if they would forgive you, but you don’t need forgiveness in order to move on with the rehab process. The goal here is to be able to acknowledge what you’ve done and apologize to those that you have affected. Some people will forgive you after a period of time; others may not forgive you at all. The key is to apologize and work towards acceptance. You may feel better about yourself when you realize you have apologized to those who you have affected negatively.