Admitting You Have An Addiction
Originally posted October 28, 2016
There comes a point in an addict’s life that they will admit to others that they have a substance abuse problem. Admitting you have an addiction can be extremely terrifying, but is often the first step towards sobriety and a life that isn’t fueled by drugs or alcohol. Lasting success in addiction recovery is a long road and begins with telling those you love about your addiction.
Admitting Your Addiction is the First Step
There aren’t many addicts that want the people they love and care about to know that they have a problem. If you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, you most likely work pretty hard on hiding your dependency. The people you respect and care about are the last ones you want to know about your addiction. However, in order to get the help you so desperately need, your loved ones are the people you need on your side.
Because addiction completely changes the behavior of a person, telling others can be extremely overwhelming. Your actions as an addict are most likely worlds away from the person you really are. It can feel really difficult to tell a loved one you’re an addict when your behavior has caused pain, anger, sadness, and confusion. It’s easy to hurt the ones you love when you’re an addict. They are, after all, the closest people to you.
There are many ways people who are addicted hurt the ones they love, whether it’s intentional or not. Addiction doesn’t just affect the addict. Addiction makes an individual do things they normally wouldn’t do. Addicts will blatantly lie to those they love, steal from the people close to them, and isolate themselves from the people they once spent time with. Admitting your wrong isn’t easy, especially when it comes to addiction.
Those Closest to You Probably Already Know
While telling a loved one you’re an addict is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do, it’s also one of the best things you can do. There’s a good chance the people closest to you already have an idea that you’re abusing drugs or alcohol. The people who knew you before you were an addict most likely know there’s something wrong. And even if they don’t know the extent of your involvement with drugs or alcohol, addiction is something that can be hidden only for so long.
As much as your addiction has affected your life, telling your loved one’s about it is vital if you ever want to regain control of your life. Often times, however, the people you love will completely understand, and in many cases it will answer some of the questions they probably already have about your behavior. Although this is no excuse, letting them help you can be a healing process for everyone involved.
Telling a Loved One You’re an Addict
Make a Plan
Making a plan before you talk to your loved ones is vital. Just telling them that you’re an addict won’t work. You’ve got to have an idea of what you’re going to say, as well as what you plan to do about your addiction before you sit down to talk to them. Choose to have your conversation in a neutral environment and prepare for some very heavy emotions. It’s not going to be easy, but going into this delicate conversation with a plan can ease the difficulty. Not only will you want to bring up your addiction, but the plans you have for recovery.
Let Them Know You’re Aware of Your Actions
Addiction affects everyone involved. And while you might not have seen just how much your behavior hurt others during the darkest moments of your addiction, being aware that you’ve undoubtedly hurt the ones you love is crucial not just recovery, but to the relationships that have suffered. You know you’ve done things you normally wouldn’t do. Let those you care about know that you’re aware of your actions. When they know you’re aware of what you’ve done and the pain you’ve caused, they’ll be more receptive to what you have to say.
While you don’t have to give your loved ones all the dark details that encompass your addiction, being honest about what you’re experiencing is crucial to their understanding and willingness to help you. If you’re still using, let them know. If you’re drinking in the mornings just to make it through the day, tell them. Don’t downplay or sugarcoat anything about your addiction. Being honest will rebuild trust and allow your loved ones to become more receptive in assisting you to get the help you need.
Telling a loved one you’re an addict is one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. It’s not easy to hurt the people we love, no matter how far away from them our addiction has taken us. Letting them know what you’re desperately struggling with, however, can be the key to finding the help you need and finding lasting success in the recovery process. It’s going to be difficult, but it will ultimately be worth it. Trust that telling your loved ones you’re an addict is exactly what you need to find the freedom you’re looking for.