Addiction Recovery: The Best Apology is Changed Behavior

By November 15, 2018 No Comments

Perhaps you have heard someone say “The best apology is changed behavior.” This concept is very important for recovering addicts. Addiction almost always involves a lot of poor choices and regrettable outcomes. Addicts disappoint, harm, and offend the people around them, damaging important relationships. These betrayals lead to a sense of shame and guilt. Apologies are common and frequent while an addict continues using. What is such an apology really worth? Not much, if the harmful behavior continues. Sooner or later, people are going to get tired of hearing an addict apologize for the same repeated offense. Changing the harmful behavior is the only truly sincere form of apology.

man at table in dark room alone with interrogation light

You will need to take an honest look at what you have been doing.

Tools for Recovery: Examining Our Beliefs and Behaviors

In order to beat addiction, we need to recognize what it does to us. Addicts will typically engage in an array of behaviors that cause self-harm and harm to others. Social withdrawal, hiding out, and lying to keep the addictive behavior protected in secrecy robs addicts of vital human connection. On a related note, addicts simply lose interest in the healthy things that once made life worth living and again withdraw from healthy relationships. Addicts typically have anger management issues and may lash out at people who care about them. And addicts typically engage in risky and unethical behavior, such as stealing, to maintain their access to their addiction. To truly recover from addiction, you need to be honest about what you have been doing. You need to recognize the things that you need to change.

two sad people talking on couch

You may have some difficult conversations, but it’s worth it.

Tools for Recovery: Recognizing Who & What You Have Harmed

Addiction has consequences, and not just for addicts. In order to get free from addiction, we need to be honest with ourselves. We need to recognize the scope of our problem fully. And this includes acknowledging who we have harmed. We can also investigate what we have harmed. For instance, we may repeatedly break the law and thus harm the rule of law. The goal is not to make ourselves feel ashamed; this is not a healthy emotion. The goal is to make a sober, honest assessment of the cost of addiction to strengthen our resolve to change, and to give ourselves the opportunity to make amends for the harm we have caused. For instance, an addict who has harmed their relationship with the rule of law can make amends by volunteering in a prison.

three women in sunset

Get back to healthy, connected behavior.

Tools for Recovery: Making Amends by Changing Behavior

When we harm others, we harm ourselves too. Damage done to important relationships that we need is self-harm. To succeed in recovery we need to avoid self-harm and repair what we can. When you have disappointed someone time after time, saying sorry once again doesn’t accomplish much. The best thing you can do to make things right is to get to the bottom of the behavior that you are apologizing for and change it.

To make a lasting change, you are going to need to look carefully and honestly about what is going on. What is the harmful behavior? What triggers it? How do you tell yourself stories to rationalize and excuse the behavior? Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) will help you recognize unhealthy cycles of thought and action. Seasons Bali offers CBT as part of our comprehensive evidenced-based approach to addiction recovery. With CBT, you will learn to change the stories you tell yourself and change how you respond to triggers. You will develop and then carry out a plan of action to recognize and change unhealthy behaviors.

And that is the best way to say “I am sorry” and “thank you” to the people you have harmed and the people that have supported you.

Imagine: what if you could stop making all those choices you regret, all those choices you feel ashamed of, all those choices for which you have made increasingly unwelcome apologies?

The good news is, there is hope. You can get clean and sober. You can choose to do the hard work. And you can learn to understand yourself, learn to discard your unhealthy habits of thought and action, and learn to build new ones. You can lead a happy, healthy, connected life.

man on deserted misty street at night

You don’t have to struggle alone.

Recognize You Have A Problem And Take A Step Towards Recovery Today

You know that you -or someone you know – has a problem. That is why you are here reading this. You know it will be hard to fix, but we are here to tell you: you can do it and we can show you how. Take the first step on the road to a better life. Learn more about our Rehab Program in Bali for recovering from addiction and make a plan.

If you or someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol or any other form of addiction, call one of our experts today on (toll-free Australia) 1800 288 348 or +62 8124678 or email us at [email protected] and we will call you.


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