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by Elizabeth Hill LCADC, CCS, CDP, MAC

“You may not always trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust.”

Trust – so easily lost but so hard to win back. Addiction takes a monumental toll on trust – for family, friends, co-workers and the like. Often, for those in early recovery, the goal is to regain trust from others they care about. However, depending on the steps leading to this loss, immediate gratification is not to be had.

This then begs the question – “What is Trust?” Merriam Webster defines trust as: a firm belief in the character, strength or truth of someone or something. The basis of trust then lies in honest communication. Once a mistruth is discovered – credibility is lost. The impact of truth in successful relationships cannot be understated. It is the cornerstone of every healthy relationship.

What does Trust mean to us?

Truthfulness – basic honesty in word and deed
Respect – for self and others
Unselfishness – kindness and caring for others
Safety – we need to let others feel safe in a relationship with us
Teachable – a tenet of successful living

In order to be trusted, especially after a breach in a trusting relationship, one needs to be mindful of the acronym above. To be trusted by others is a gift we need to care for and nurture. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them – physically and emotionally. Without trust, relationships become chaotic and dysfunctional.

Love without trust is impossible; we need that feeling of security and safety with the other person or persons we have relationships with to thrive. Trust helps us to overcome obstacles – and there are so many in early recovery to navigate.

Trust in a relationship can suffer from actions of an addicted lifestyle. Learning from these mistakes in essential to being able to move forward. There are signs that tell you when you can trust another person. The first is open and transparent conversation. It’s also important to be able to admit mistakes – despite any embarrassment that might result. Active listening is key to a trusting relationship. And a prime need is consistency in actions – don’t say one thing and act in an opposite manner.

Being able to provide trust in another person will go a long way in receiving trust from them. It’s a definite two-way street of life on life’s terms.