Coming to terms with addiction is a hard thing to deal with. Are you going to get treatment? Are you going to tell your friends or family? Can you overcome addiction? Will you be judged? There are so many questions your brain is thinking and it might be shutting down from stress because of it. Of course you don’t want to be judged, and of course you don’t want your friends or family to worry about you. But that’s exactly what will happen, even more so if you wait. If you’re struggling with how to open up about your drug addiction, I hope these tips will help.
You don’t need to tell everyone
Telling your therapist is suggested, close family is acceptable and encouraged…maybe telling some close friends who will be supportive… but you don’t need to tell anyone else. Addiction is a very personal thing and it’s your story to tell. You can narrate it to anyone you want, but therapists and family should be your priority.
Everyone deals with problems in their life
You’re not alone. Everyone has problems. Everyone goes through a period in life where nothing is going right. You’re not the only addicted person in the world. There are several thousands of people in the same shoes as you. Understanding that others are in the same situation can help you open up about it more.
Be honest with yourself
The people that lie about their life; telling their mom one thing and their therapist something different… that’s not healthy. Not only will you confuse yourself with the stories you’ve told, but you’re ruining friendships and relationships while you do it. The promotion you thought you’d get, not happening anymore. Your cell phone privileges from your mom are revoked because she found out a different story. Your significant other is having second thoughts because they don’t know what to believe. Stay true to yourself, be honest and upright, admit your flaws, seek help and make your life better. This is the same with recovery…your story should be the same story you tell everyone. You don’t have to share a lot, but sharing that you’re 10 years sober with one person and telling another that you don’t have an addiction problem is not being honest with yourself.
Opening up to your significant other
Try to think of what your SO loves to do with you. Do they love going on walks? Watching a movie with you? Going skiing at a nearby resort? Think of the best scene that will make your SO the most comfortable and happiest at. Make sure it’s doable, and that you’re able to make time for your conversation. By planning out an activity that your SO loves to do, it assures that the conversation will be easier and better understanding. When it’s time to confront them, make sure it’s during a time where there aren’t any distractions or appointments in the way. Tell them in an honest and polite way, and make sure they know that they have time to think about it and process it. Let them know that they can ask you any questions, and you will answer them honestly.
Opening up to your family
Find a time that works for everyone you want to share it with. Bringing a supportive friend might help you with the discussion to your family as well. Before you confront them, figure out what you’re going to say. Just like the first topic in this post, you don’t need to share everything. Only share what you’re comfortable with sharing. If you plan out how you are going to start and finish the conversation, it will help with distractions and losing your train of thought. You should also understand that everyone has different reactions to this information. And the same goes with opening up to your significant other, let them know they can ask any questions and you can answer them. If they need time to process the information, that is okay.
You might get asked some tough questions
That’s okay. You shouldn’t be surprised. You might get asked hard or personal questions, or questions that you’re embarrassed about. Like I mentioned before, stay honest with yourself. Answer the questions you feel comfortable answering.
Here are some questions that might get brought up:
- When was the last time you used drugs or alcohol?
- How long before I met you were you addicted/When did your addiction start?
- What age were you when you first began using drugs and/or alcohol?
- Were you ever arrested?
- Do you plan on getting formal treatment for your addiction or have you gone through treatment before?
- Have you ever suffered a relapse?
- Have you ever had serious financial difficulties as a result of your addiction?
- Is your condition inherited? Is your father, mother or some other close relative an addict as well?
What happens after the conversation?
By the time your conversation has ended, you should feel a sense of relief. You’re not hiding it anymore and the people closest to you are now aware of your addiction. One thing to ask in return from your discussions with your family and SO is that they help you. By asking for help, you’ve come to terms with your addiction, you’ve let them know you want help, and you can begin the process of recovery if you haven’t done through treatment yet. It’s you against the world now and it’s time to show the world your strength.
If you’re interested in recovery and want to learn more, call us at 855-737-7363 for a confidential assessment.