I’ve both sought closure from people I knew in active addiction, and been the one others were seeking closure from. Through these experiences, I’ve learned to be thoughtful about how this is done from both sides.
The Risk of Falling Into Old Patterns
When I reached out to one particular person, I was struggling with other things in my life. I didn’t think long enough about how talking to them would affect me and we ended up relating in ways that mirrored our former relationship. Thankfully I didn’t drink or use, but some of the old dynamics between us were still there; this was frustrating, since I knew I had changed so much.
This can happen when you go back to any old relationship. Former patterns can reemerge, despite how much either person has changed. This is why you sometimes hear of people reverting to old versions of themselves when they see their families. When it comes to revisiting a relationship from your active addiction days, this is something to be very aware of, because those patterns can be harmful to your recovery.
Mending a Relationship
That said, there are healthy ways to reach out. If you want to make amends and take responsibility for wrongs you have caused, make sure to think as much as possible about what the other person’s perspective might be.
You might want to reestablish a connection with someone from active addiction. Consider whether their being in your life would be detrimental to your recovery, or if they could be a good support. Maybe they too have gotten sober and you think they could be a meaningful person to have in your life. Even though old patterns can crop up when you’re going back to a previous relationship, it doesn’t have to get stuck there. If both of you are willing to do the work, you can create a new, healthier dynamic. That can be really healing.
Healing on Your Own
However, if you can’t connect with the person for whatever reason, remember that you can heal from a past relationship without receiving closure from the person. Grief is an ongoing process and might stick with you, but you can heal without the person’s input. Closure doesn’t always happen, but healing is always possible.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Recovery Centers offers high-quality treatment for mental health disorders and addiction in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you heal in recovery. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.