There has been much debate over the benefits of being open about addiction and recovery versus remaining quiet about one’s “issues.” After all, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on the principle that individuals can recover by participating in private meetings. However, there are many benefits to coming out of the closet when it comes to addiction, and more and more people today are experiencing a rewarding recovery because of it.
We understand; you don’t want friends, family, and co-workers to know about your addiction. First of all, it is embarrassing. It will change how these people look at you. It could even jeopardize your reputation and career. When you make the decision whether or not to make your addiction recovery public knowledge, you need to weigh all the implications it will have on the rest of your life. In some situation, your privacy in rehab is of utmost importance and you can and should recover in secret. For most people, though, being open about treatment will make your recovery easier, longer lasting, and more meaningful. Here’s why:
Hiding takes energy. If you are an addict, you know this already. It takes hard work, determination, and a great level of concentration to keep up with the lies, the deceit, and the hiding of an addiction. If you try to hide your recovery as well (because people don’t know about your addiction in the first place), you will just have to keep up charades even longer. Instead of devoting all that energy into keeping up the false pretense of someone that has it all together, you can be honest with those near to you and start your recovery with a clear mind.
You need help. Face it – your addiction is not going anywhere. You need professional help to get clean, and you could use some help from loved ones as well. Instead of hiding from family and close friends, enlist their help. Ask them to hold you accountable. Allow them to be the listening ear you need when days get tough. Ask them to help you clear your life of drugs and alcohol, remove triggers, and provide encouragement and support during and after recovery. This can only happen if you are open about your addiction and recovery.
You can share what you have with others. There will come a day when you are sober and wanting desperately to share your experience with others. After rehab you can go back to your treatment center as a volunteer or a sponsor. You can find ways to encourage others in their recovery journey. You might even decide to begin a career in the addiction treatment field. This will be easier if you have been open about recovery all along.
You can help remove the stigma. There is a stigma associated with addiction because of the natural tendency for people to hide their problems from others. If everyone was open about their struggles with addiction and recovery, there would be no stigma. Be willing to share your recovery journey with others – if for no other reason than to let people know that addiction is alive and thriving in our culture today, and it takes the courage of people like you to do something about it.
If you are in need of addiction treatment, don’t wait any longer. My Recovery Helper can find a rehab that is right for you, so that you can be on your way to a sober life. Contact us at (844) 867-6835 today to learn more.