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Written by Brandon Okey. Mina Draskovic, B.Psy., reviewed this content for accuracy.

It’s a challenge when someone is going through recovery from alcohol or drugs. They may not know how to navigate, telling people they are a recovering addict, especially when it comes to potential relationships or an employer. Read today’s blog to learn about how to tell people you’re a recovering addict.  

Telling People 

You may think about whether it’s a good idea to tell people you’re in recovery, and in truth, you don’t have to, but it may help your healing process if you do. Sharing your experience may help those around you understand the journey and help heal wounds and establish better relationships. It may also help build confidence and self-efficacy in helping shed old habits, such as shame or dishonesty. It’s empowering when you can be truthful about your past, especially when it includes situations you may not be particularly proud of, or that was hurtful to friends and family. Learning new ways to communicate, without the crutch of a substance, can be challenging, so it may be wise to speak with your counselor for good advice.  

Tips for Telling People About Your Recovery

Facing your fears and shame, head-on, helps to overcome surrounding feelings of powerlessness and isolation. It may be scary, but permitting yourself to feel vulnerable can be a good thing. Here are five tips to help you talk to people about your recovery.   First: Talk to Yourself. It’s essential to forgive yourself by embracing the past and accepting it was a part of you that you can now let go and move forward. Completing a drug rehab program and vowing to stay clean is a huge accomplishment and one that should be applauded. If recovery is still new, take some time to focus on you before telling people of your recent past.   Second: Think about the person’s relationship to you, which will help you know better what and how to talk to them. Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, co-worker, parent, or sibling? Most likely, the ones closest to you already know about your recovery, but if you have parents or siblings, you’re not around often or are in another state or country, they may not know. Ask yourself if it’s essential they know about your recovery and whether you or they will gain anything from the confession. If you feel strongly one way or the other, trust your instinct.   Third: Pick the right time. It’s probably not the wisest to tell people about your addiction around the Thanksgiving table or at a reunion. It may be as simple as gathering a few people in a setting with less distraction. This gives you and them time to talk in a calm and supportive way.    Fourth: Think twice about sharing the information at work. Personal information may not only jeopardize your relationships with co-workers, your boss, or clients; it could also backfire and create more isolating stigmatization with labels, such as “junkie” or “meth head.” Recovery is challenging enough when returning to work, so unless someone explicitly asks, keep it on the down-low.    Fifth: Keep in mind that your decision doesn’t need to be all or nothing. You decide what works best for you. This is your life and a personal decision that’s no one else’s business. Whatever boundaries you have set within your recovery, have confidence. As you grow and mature out of addiction, your feelings may change. Don’t be in a rush to tell people if you’re not ready.   

Contact Ardu Recovery Center

If you are starting on the road to recovery and need a center that understands your needs, please get in touch with us. At Ardu Recovery Center, we care about our patients and want what’s best. We tailor our programs to fit within their situation and budget. Please reach out and ask questions or just talk with a staff member. We’re always here to assist in any way we can and celebrate your road to recovery. Call us today.    
Brandon Okey

Brandon Okey is the co-founder of Ardu Recovery Center and is dedicated to empowering people on their journey to sobriety.