By Steps to Recovery on November 28, 2012

How do you talk to your family about your addiction? Have you decided it’s time to speak up about your drug and/or alcohol use? That’s a huge step on the path of recovery, and a very difficult thing to do. I found it was hard for me to admit that I had a problem, and had been lying about it. I didn’t want to put myself under the magnifying glass. I knew if I admitted it that everyone would be watching me. It was a big decision to make!

After a lot of thought and debating with myself, I decided that I just needed to get it out there. My family had known that I had drug issues in the past but weren’t necessarily aware of my current and ongoing status as a full blown meth addict. It was really easy for me to hide, since I lived on the west coast and they all lived in the Midwest for the most part.

As for actually approaching the subject when I spoke with them, I prepared myself with information about the recovery program I chose and why I chose it. I told them what my goals were and how I intended to achieve them. I spoke to them when I was feeling ok, I had a lot of emotional ups and downs in early recovery, so I tried to make sure I was feeling pretty good when I made those phone calls.

I think it’s important to be mindful of where your loved ones are at when you actually try to speak to them about your addiction. Are they distracted, tired, stressed, had a bad day or sick? That is probably not the best time to try to have a conversation about something so intense. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on for them and honoring where they are before beginning a talk that is sure to bring up a lot of emotion for all people involved.

Be prepared for all of the emotions that can come from your family and friends when you let them know what is going on. The may seem disappointed, angry, hateful…Maybe they are relieved, happy, proud that you are coming forward with what’s going on with you. Whatever comes up for them is ok. Don’t take it personally if it doesn’t look how you want it to.

However you do it, talking to your family, friends and loved ones about what it going on in your life and recovery is very important. Having these people as a part of your support system in recovery will feel so good, it will be deeply healing to begin to repair your relationships with these people.

How did you talk to your family about your alcoholism or drug addiction?