Struggling with an addiction often feels like you’re suffering alone. When you decide it’s time to reclaim your life, confiding in your loved ones can provide you with the support you need to recover successfully. The first step in overcoming battles with addiction is to talk about them. Ocean Hills Recovery discusses the benefits of opening up about addiction and how it can lead to a healthy life of recovery.
The Benefits of Opening Up About Addiction with Others
Sharing the news that you have been struggling with an addiction can feel like a huge weight is off. For others, there is a great deal of hesitation and fear surrounding the conversation. However, the good news is that the potential discomfort in the short term is outweighed by the long-term advantages of having the conversation. So, consider the benefits of opening up to others about your addiction.
Having a Support System to Talk With
Confiding in loved ones about your addiction allows you to create a robust support system. You may need someone at any hour of the day, and by opening up, you will know that they are only a phone call away. During the challenging moments of your journey to recovery, your support system will be there to provide you with the guidance and encouragement that you need because they know and love you. They can remind you of the adverse effects that your addiction has had on your life should you ever need a reminder of why you committed to sobriety in the first place.
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Companions For Activities Outside Of Addiction
Opening up about your addiction will provide you with people with whom to engage in non-substance-focused activities. You may have forgotten which activities you enjoyed before you struggled with addiction. After confiding in a loved one, you will have someone willing to participate in activities not related to alcohol or other substances. They may even introduce you to new, healthy hobbies like hiking, knitting, tennis, among endless other pastimes.
Connections with Others in Recovery
Sharing your addiction can open up your circle to others who are also in recovery. You may decide to seek out a 12-step-recovery program or find a supportive community online. Connecting with others who are experiencing the same thing can help you adhere to your recovery program.
Approaching the Conversation of Addiction
Now that you’ve decided you’re ready to confide in your loved ones, you may wonder how to approach the conversation. Follow this checklist to get started:
The first step in sharing your addiction is determining who you can confide in yourself. Consider your closest confidants. Who can provide you with emotional support when you need it? You may wish to write a list of family members, close friends, or faith community members who care deeply about you. You don’t necessarily have to tell them all right away. Instead, select a single person or handful of people you wish to confide in yourself. These people will be your support system through your path to recovery.
There’s no hard and fast rule for determining the right time to reveal your addiction to loved ones; however, it’s important not to wait too long before sharing the news. The sooner you share your struggle, the more quickly you can receive the support you need to break the chains of addiction.
Reveal the news to your loved ones in a quiet and comfortable environment to ensure that you each have the other’s undivided attention. Avoid public or crowded places where it may be challenging to speak authentically. You may feel called to share news of your path to recovery on social media.
Consider both the pros and cons of taking to social media networks during this time. Online platforms can be powerful tools for developing connections with those experiencing the same thing; however, spending too much time on social media may be self-isolating. Only you can determine which is the right approach for you.
Approach the conversation with honesty. Be truthful about your substance misuse experience, its root (if you know where it may have stemmed from), and your current struggle. Express that you are ready to break the chains of addiction and would like their support. You won’t know how your loved ones will react to the conversation because everyone is different. They may shower you with encouragement or be shocked and need time to digest the news.
Regardless of their reaction, know that sharing your addiction is the first step toward reclaiming the life you deserve. It takes a great deal of courage to approach this conversation, although the results are certainly worthwhile.
Get Help Today
Should you need any support in closing this conversation, Ocean Hills Recovery is here to help. Contact one of our kind team members today.
Struggling with addiction can be incredibly lonely.
When you open up to others about your addiction you no longer have to suffer by yourself.
Confiding in loved ones about your struggle allows you to create a strong support system among many other benefits.
You can be open, honest, and stop feeling as though you must hide your addiction.
With their encouragement, you can seek the help you need to successfully break the chains of addiction.
Ocean Hills Recovery offers guidance on how to approach this important conversation.
Contact us to begin your journey toward a healthy life of recovery or visit OceanHillsRecovery.com for more information
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.