Overcoming addiction is no easy feat, but it is a life-changing step that can be made easier if you share your addiction recovery journey. The stigma surrounding addiction can make it difficult for someone to be open about their journey, which is why it’s crucial to build a strong support group to start.
In this article, we’ll cover tips to help you share your journey, like choosing the right moment, preparing others for the conversation, being honest, and preparing for potential pushback and knowing how to deal with it.
By the end of this article, we hope we can show you that sharing your journey doesn’t have to be a shameful experience and that it can be empowering not just to you but to others around you.
Before we jump into the tips, it’s worthwhile to know the benefits of sharing your addiction recovery journey — here’s how.
Benefits for you:
- You’ll recall the consequences: though this can be difficult, identifying the darkest times in your life will help you stay focused on your recovery. Addiction can impact things like your job, relationships, and health; once you start to fix those aspects of your life, looking back can help you preserve them.
- Sharing minimizes loneliness: by sharing your journey with others, you can begin to create a sense of community. There are plenty of places to do this, such as rehab meetings, online support groups, or family and friend groups.
- Sharing boosts confidence: when you share your story, you’re reminding yourself of the obstacles you’ve overcome and how far you are from when you first started your journey. A boost in confidence is crucial in helping you avoid relapse because you’ll feel more empowered.
- Sharing invites others to support you: sharing your experience with others can be extremely rewarding, not just because you finally have it off your chest, but because it allows others to become allies in your journey. They can act as cheerleaders and even accountability partners.
Benefits to others:
- Promotes encouragement: sharing your story with others can encourage them to take the steps to recovery. When you share what you’ve been through, you help people relate and break down those barriers built up by feelings of shame and loneliness.
- Provides education: many don’t quite understand what addiction is like and how it can impact your life. By sharing your story with others, you can help decrease the stigma tied to addiction and recovery and help others in the process.
- Gives hope: people who are attempting to overcome addiction may go through feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness. When you share your story with others, you can spark that hope in them and help them move toward the recovery process.
Things to Include in Your Recovery Story
Something else you should put thought into before sharing your story is what you want to include. What you open up about will depend on where you are in your journey, but here are some points that could help get you started:
- What were some early indicators that you were beginning to have a problem?
- What would you say was your lowest point?
- What helped get you out of that and where you are now?
- Who helped you accomplish this?
- What have you overcome to get to where you are now?
- What were some strengths that you’ve developed since then?
- How do you maintain your wellness and recovery?
Choose the Right Moment
Not everyone feels comfortable sharing their journey, and not doing so doesn’t discredit your recovery in the slightest. For those who need support, it’s important to choose the right time, as it’s not the same for everyone.
Remember that your recovery comes first, so if you feel like you’re not ready and sharing could compromise your recovery, it’s best to hold off. Make sure you’re emotionally ready to share your journey, especially since you can’t control how others will react.
Prepare Others for the Conversation
Coinciding with the right moment, you should prepare others for the conversation. There are many ways to go about this, but the core message should be educating them on addiction’s realities. Easing them into the discussion is the best way to make it as comfortable for you as possible.
It can be hard to open up, but omitting the truth will only complicate the recovery process. If you want to share your addiction recovery journey, it’s best not to leave anything out.
Start with close friends and family so you can get comfortable speaking about your journey; you might eventually find it empowering, and at this point, you’ll be able to talk with others going through the same thing.
Remember, it doesn’t help anyone, especially you, to downplay or exaggerate your experiences.
Seek Out Help
You should have a solid support system in place before you begin to tell your story. This support system is going to be crucial for those times when you might need someone to talk to if things get hard. Remember that those closest to you will cheer you on, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Prepare for Potential Blowback
While most of those around you will be supportive, it’s important to remember that addiction affects those around you just as it does you. There may be relationships that have been strained during your struggle, and you can’t expect to fix these overnight.
Expect some reluctance from those who may have experienced these effects, but don’t give up hope.
Get the Support You Need at Ardu Recovery Center
Deciding to share your addiction recovery journey with others can leave you feeling vulnerable, but it’s an important step in the process. If you want to overcome your addiction, reach us at Ardu Recovery Center. Our Provo, Utah facilities offer various detox and addiction treatment services to fit your needs and get you back on track. Call us at 801-512-0086 or fill out our online form and get ready to take back control of your life.