How do you rebuild trust ?

There is an implication in the question, that trust has been broken in some way and needs to be rebuilt by one or two parties.

The whole question of trust and what it means to people is a hugely important one in recovery, as in life generally. In childhood, ideally a child will learn to trust the significant adults in their lives.

A child will think of this in terms of safety rather than the adult concept of trust. A child hopefully will feel safe with an adult, and in some sense that will free them to be themselves and have what they consider to be a safe relationship with that adult.

As adults, we tend to talk about trusting or not trusting people rather than feeling safe with them.

Trust in many ways is a very natural process, although we often tend to talk about distrusting people rather than trusting people.

We tend to make judgements about who we trust and who we don’t trust based on our instincts.

Sometimes these instincts are right and at other times they let us down.Entering a rehab will normally make an alcoholic assume that their instincts and their need for safety has completely deserted them.

And then there is God.

What people mean when they say that they trust God can have a huge number of different interpretations.

For some people it is about trusting an unknown sort of supernatural force who is in control of life.

For other people it is about trusting some type of energy in the universe, and for others it is about trusting God within ourselves.

There are of course other meanings and interpretations. What is rarely talked about, but is key to rebuilding trust is the notion of trusting yourself, which is a key issue for someone entering into a rehab.

An alcoholic will have most likely destroyed trust in themselves, people close to them, family and work colleagues and other people in their lives. It is unlikely they will have done this deliberately, though in certain cases that could well be true.

It is more likely that they have destroyed trust almost as a by product of their need to drink, and to construct a life where they feel safe enough to drink and to be able to get away with it.

This inevitably will have consequences, sometimes severe, both for the alcoholic and for the people close to them.

In a rehab, the process of rebuilding the life of an alcoholic should hopefully start to take place. At some level an alcoholic is likely to feel threatened in a rehab, simply because they are likely to feel under attack, either about their drinking or their life as a result of the drinking.

A rehab may talk about the issue of trust or not, but indirectly it will begin to address the issue of safety within the alcoholic.The notion of beginning to trust yourself normally begins for most of us in childhood, and hopefully becomes a natural part of our lives.

For an alcoholic entering into a rehab, the whole process of rebuilding their lives is about to enter a new phase.

A rehab should have enough of a structure and a wide enough range of therapeutic techniques to begin the process of helping the alcoholic to begin to rediscover themselves as a person.

This will involve understanding at some level the nature of the illness and why there are in a rehab, and what they can do to begin to heal the inner conflicts which will have been a major drive, emotionally, in their alcoholism.