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How to Talk to People About Being in Recovery

If you’ve been living with a drug or alcohol addiction and have finally decided to seek help – or have experienced an accident or legal trouble that has served as a wake-up call – you’re probably struggling with how to tell those around you that you’re going to begin your recovery process. Perhaps you’re worried others will judge you, or that you won’t get the support you need to succeed. Here’s some advice on how to tell people you are going to rehab, as well as how to explain your recovery after you exit your treatment program.

Who Should You Tell About Your Decision to Get Help?

While you don’t have to tell everyone you know that you are going to begin your recovery process, it helps to be honest with people who are used to seeing you regularly, so they understand you will be away seeking lifesaving treatment. Remember, as challenging as this may be, there are people in your life who love you and want you to heal. Let them help.

  • Your family and friends: People in your life who care about you most will probably be relieved to hear you have decided to go through recovery. You may be pleasantly surprised to learn how much reassurance, help and moral support they are willing to offer as you pursue your journey to health and happiness.
  • Your co-workers: People who are seeking recovery sometimes feel most intimidated about telling their supervisor and other co-workers, and are thankful to hear an encouraging response. Many employers offer resources for employees who are struggling with addiction, and the Family and Medical Leave Act may help ensure you have a job to return to after rehab. Be honest with your supervisor and your company’s HR department in discussing the problems you are going through and your heartfelt desire to get better.

You Are Not Alone

Because addicts often get in the habit of secrecy and isolation, opening up to the people in your life about your struggles with addiction can feel incredibly liberating. You may feel your anxiety and stress decrease significantly when you are frank with people about your decision to seek recovery.

Revealing your battles with substance abuse to those around you may feel like the most challenging thing you’ve ever had to do, but it could strengthen your relationships and help boost your self-esteem. Once you have regained control of your life, be proud of the progress you’ve made, instead of expressing shame or guilt about your past. You might even inspire someone else to seek help of their own.

Educate People in Your Life About the Realities of Addiction

Many people misunderstand the genuine nature of addiction, believing the cycle of chronic drug or alcohol misuse is a choice or a moral weakness. By talking openly to your family, friends and co-workers about your recovery journey, you may be providing a valuable public service in reducing the stigma and misconceptions associated with substance abuse disorders.

It’s also essential to remember you do not owe everyone an explanation about what you’re going through. If you are uncomfortable about discussing your situation with others, or feel as if someone will not be empathetic to what you’ve been through, don’t let them bring you down. However, being honest about your struggles with substance abuse and your subsequent decision to seek healing can help normalize addiction recovery for those around you.

At Vista Taos Renewal Center, we understand seeking help for your drug or alcohol problems may be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, steps you will ever take. There’s no time like the present to make the call that will change your life. Our compassionate admissions staff are ready to hear from you.

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