Building Trust in Recovery

Building trust is an important step for someone starting on their road to recovery. In addiction, lies and manipulative behaviors caused us to become untrustworthy. For the recovering addict, building trust in recovery is a two-fold process: trust not only needs to be earned with others, but we also need to begin to trust ourselves. The road to rebuilding trust starts with making sound decisions, becoming accountable and accepting responsibility for our actions.

Building Trust

The first step is building trust in recovery not only with others but with ourselves, as well. During our addiction, being trustworthy and credible was not a priority. Being genuine and credible went only as far as how good the lie was told and executed.


Another step is becoming accountable. In the most simple of terms, being accountable is the ability to, honestly, answer for our actions. As a recovering addict, the blinders are removed, and the reality of the devastation we caused is obvious. While it can be argued that the addict wasn’t in his or her right mind during their addiction, the fact remains that we as addicts lied and manipulated family and friends to get what we wanted. Owning our actions is essential.


Along with accountability is the presence of responsibility in building trust. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are some slight differences on a fundamental level. Accountability must be taken by an individual while responsibility is granted or bestowed upon an individual. With that basic difference in definition established, it would make sense that in order for others to trust us we need to answer for our own actions first.

Becoming Dependable

Becoming dependable is another step to keep in mind when building trust. Trust, accountability, and responsibility are all essential¬†traits, but they don’t mean much if there is no follow-through on a consistent basis. Ultimately, being dependable through our actions and behaviors builds trust.

It is important to consider that rebuilding trust is going to take time. Undoing deception and manipulation will not happen overnight. These principles are an important part of a total recovery program. While building trust there will be minor bumps in the road caused by circumstances beyond our control. Should minor setback occur, talk to your sober supports, they have been there and can help us navigate through challenges in our road to full recovery.

Tim Powers is a business professional by day and rocker by night. Tim is the lead content writer for Sober Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @tpowersbass42.