Telling a loved one about needing help in recovery is hard. On the other side of addiction recovery is a life perhaps you only ever dreamed about, where you are free to do the things you always wanted to do but felt were not possible with addiction running the show. Whether or not to disclose you are in recovery to new people you meet in recovery is difficult because there is still stigma attached to addiction and judgment may come from others, as well. When people share their struggles, it can help them feel not so alone.
Recovery is all about choices. You chose to admit the need for help and attend rehab. You make other choices every single day in recovery. Whether or not you want to share about addiction is totally your choice, as well. You may choose to tell family and friends more than you would a coworker. It may be helpful to consider jut how much to disclose and not go beyond that point. The people closest to you are the only ones who need to know. Some people choose to wait for a milestone in recovery. Telling others can help you stay accountable, but it is important to wait to be ready. Never jump into telling people about your story or feel pressured until you are ready.
Heading into social situations in recovery feels tricky. Several options exist to make this easier. You may want to disclose sobriety ahead of time privately so the group will accommodate your needs. If you are not comfortable speaking up, you may find yourself in a tricky situation and need to set yourself up for success with some ways to manage triggers. It starts with having some things under your belt to help make it easier:
- Sharing how you don’t like to drink because it makes you do things you don’t like
- Being honest by saying you stopped drinking and you’re in recovery
- Sharing that you used to drink and don’t any longer
- Telling them how many days sober you are and that you plan to continue that trend
It helps to practice before you go into social settings so you have the words to say before you get into a tricky situation. If you are not sure what you want to say, it helps to have a few things written down or practiced so you can share those and not feel obligated to share any more than that.
Although it may be hard to admit your addiction to others, it is okay to just be honest. Speak with confidence and let them know you are moving forward and interested in what recovery has to offer. Change the subject, get on a new topic, and let them know you’re happy to talk about it another time if they are someone you want to share more with in another time and place. Finding the right words can feel stressful, so go in with the idea you are going to share only what is comfortable for you and then move on from there. It is your story so you decide when and how to share it with people.
Whether or not you choose to share your recovery story depends on you. There is no need to tell your story until you are ready. If you are in a place where you want to start that recovery story, Oceanfront will help you get on the right path. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295