Figuring out the means to let others know that you have embarked on the journey of getting and staying sober can be quite difficult to discern. Sure, your parents, siblings, or best friend may know because they have witnessed all the adverse behaviors firsthand and are proud of your sobriety. The problem you are facing is how to let others know you are in recovery for alcohol or drug addiction. You are unsure of where to draw the line in who should know and how to let them in on your new lifestyle. What you need to remember first and foremost is that your recovery is one day at a time and so you need to take each person at a time as well and here is how.
When telling others about your recovery, you need to consider whether they truly need to know. You should pensively consider what the ramifications could be if you told this person. Obviously, honesty is key to your recovery, but you do not owe anyone an explanation about anything that is none of their business. Take your boss for example. If you are sober and they have not asked you about anything pertaining to your past about your substance abuse on your application or in your interview, you are not required to tell them. If you could lose your job because you are lying about your past drug and alcohol use, you may need to consider coming clean to save face because they could take your dishonesty as a means of termination. If the information will not make or break your job, you need to decide if telling people at work will cause them to judge you due to your industry or it will allow you more serenity to tell them the truth. Figure out whether you need to use the open-door policy to reveal your truth and try to keep your information safe from those who are just trying to climb over you on their way up the corporate ladder.
Being rigorously honest with a medical professional or a mental health professional is critical to your physical and mental health. Not letting the doctor know what you are dealing with in your recovery and what you did in your addiction could be detrimental for a few reasons. If you have a physical condition that was caused by drug and alcohol abuse that is not being detected from the care you are getting, you could be decreasing your life span instead of fixing the problem right away. Also, being addicted to drugs and alcohol means that you are addicted to all of them. Without any doctor having this information, they could unknowingly prescribe something to you that could cause you cravings or worse, cause you to relapse. Telling a doctor that you are in recovery from drugs and alcohol, even if you think that your addiction has nothing to do with this visit, could save your life and make your quality of life much better in dealing with any mental health issues that you are experiencing.
Revealing that you are sober needs to be pondered upon with which friends to tell and which ones you should not. Being deceitful is never a good idea although making sure that you are feeling safe and respected is critically important for your sobriety. Taking one person at a time is wise for you to contemplate. Your sobriety is a sensitive issue that takes time to completely accept while getting rid of your shame and guilt surrounding your addiction. If someone is going to throw your past behaviors in your face, you might want to wait until you are strong enough to handle their ridicule or judgment. You did not get sober to have others make you feel worse than you already make yourself feel. Only tell people who are going to encourage your recovery and will give you the support that you need to keep going. Anyone who wants to use your recovery against you should be considered carefully before you give them something to use against you that could cause you to reconsider your sobriety.
You may feel like the people at your church are so faithful and righteous that you do not feel comfortable sharing your sorted past with them. You may feel like they just would not understand or relate to your jail time, being institutionalized, or the sinful nature you would expose them to if you were to share your testimony. Here is a little secret for you: everyone has done something they are not proud of. Sure, yours may take the cake, but if they are living spiritually, they will want to walk with you and help you to stay in your faith without being judgmental at all. If they look down on you, finding a new church may be your next indicated step.
Telling others about your addiction is totally up to you. In our experience, if you are living in recovery principles and working the steps, everyone will see the changes you are making and want to celebrate your recovery just like we do.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Detox Center of Colorado offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Detox Center of Colorado fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463