After embarking on the addiction recovery process, it’s difficult to know how much you should share with the people around you. We don’t want to make the mistake of oversharing and being awkward or a burden on those around us. On the other hand, keeping secrets can strain relationships and be unfair to those around us. It can even impede recovery. So here’s a quick guide and some advice.
People Who Need to Know
Your immediate family knows and cares about you. It’s important for you to remember that as much as you’re going through challenges confronting and healing from addiction, so are they. Loved ones have the power to hurt and heal us, and you need to recognize the ways that you hurt them, and the ways in which you can help them. Furthermore, your family is your best resource for help and connection when you get out of recovery - a resource that is important to support a sober lifestyle and effective recovery.
Someone who lives with you needs to know about risks and challenges that you face every day. They also need to know about the risks and challenges that they might have to confront, living in close quarters with you. Will you need help? What should they do if they’re worried about you? Know what your boundaries and needs are, and communicate them effectively.
Your general health physician need to know about your health concerns, help you keep tabs, and help you recover physically from the effects of addiction. A history of substance abuse is an important part of your medical profile and history. Only by understanding it will they be able to give you the best care possible.
A Close Friend
This is the person who sacrifices for us over and over again, who we can lean on when we need to, and with whom we share a deep personal connection. Sometimes that person is in your family. Sometimes it’s your roommate. And sometimes it’s someone completely different. So if they’re not, it’s important for you to include them in your recovery process.
Some Things To Consider
As we stated before, know what your boundaries are, know what you will need from the people around you, and be able to state that effectively. Express gratitude at every opportunity, and repair the connections (and build new ones) that will help you recover from addiction.
In our next few posts, we'll take a look at other people in your life, including the ever-confusing significant others. So stay tuned!