Opening Up to Others About Your Addiction

Every day, addicts of all kinds struggle in one of the most strenuous and stressful fights of their lives. Whether on drugs, alcohol, or an entirely different substance, addictions are the source of many negative experiences and feelings. From tension to anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, fear, and hopelessness, addiction can feel like an emotional prison.

On top of these feelings, many addicts choose to keep their addiction exclusively to themselves. Because of this, countless victims struggle to maintain their relationships with friends, co-workers, parents, siblings, or even their spouse. Though it may typically be out of shame or fear of rejection, this simultaneously complicates the situation due to isolation.

While opening up does not cure you overnight, doing so can alleviate many problems. Trust not only lifts a huge burden off your shoulders but gives you great support to look towards.

Bringing Up Your Addiction

Taking the first step is always difficult in any endeavor. You may constantly face doubt, trying to find the “right time,” but it may never come on its own. You will always need to act first and on your own terms, whether or not you are truly comfortable with it.

What is crucial to remember in recovery is that few confrontations or discussions will ever go perfectly or even smoothly. The road to recovery is a bumpy one that requires patience and effort from both ends. You can start the conversation at a specific location, over the phone, or even simply on the couch together. In the end, what matters most is that you are open and honest about the circumstances.

Seeking support is your ultimate end goal, but there are bases you want to cover before the big talk. Make sure you give an appropriate heads-up to your audience beforehand by giving an idea of what the topic is; you do not want to surprise them or catch them off guard. By giving them a chance to prepare, you can keep the discussion as calm as possible. But most of all, you should be direct and straightforward—get to the point, do not sugarcoat the subject, and prepare yourself for potential reactions.

Taking Feedback

Though taking the first step to open up is especially challenging, accepting feedback afterward can be just as difficult. Whether you reach out to a parent, spouse, close friend or family member, chances are they will be someone dear. Receiving tough feedback from anyone can be hard, but especially with people that you are close to. Initial reactions can typically be rough but are important to clear up and understand.

Always be willing to give time to process, but also be open to the likely criticisms. Hearing these criticisms from important individuals can be pivotal and help you realize what you need to do. Nevertheless, do not let a negative reaction discourage you or regret confiding in them.

Understanding your situation may be just as hard for them as it was for you to confess. Always allow time for them to hurt, process, and recover from it.

Moving Forward

The road to recovery can feel like scaling a mountain; but by confessing to someone, you have already made great progress. In opening your door, you have let someone in to begin forming your support circle. Allow them to be a pillar of support for you to lean on and keep them involved in your recovery.

By disclosing your addiction, you have made a powerful statement. In doing so, you prove your willingness to recover and share your efforts with others. Opening up may not go smoothly and requires enduring painful times, but doing so opens many doors to recovery. Not only will you not need to endure it alone, but you can also share your recovery experience with someone important.

If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Alternative Recovery Program or our Long Term Alternative Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.