Addiction is often a point of insecurity, shame, and embarrassment. There still remains a strong stigma behind addiction. Stigma harms recovery because it informs people that addiction is based solely on willpower. This statement is wrong. Addiction should be treated as the disease it is. It is not based on willpower nor strength, and your family needs to understand that.
When it comes to addressing family and loved ones about addiction, people are often hesitant. Many concerns arise about how their perception will change of you. Don’t let these fears keep you from sharing. By sharing your problem with loved ones you show your strength and readiness to recover. Beating addiction comes with facing many fears.
There are several tips and tactics to allowing this conversation to go smoothly. It is important that you start off with informing them how much their support is necessary for your success. Without their help and approval it will harder for you to face your addiction. In addition, let them know that you are committed to your recovery and this conversation is proof.
Next, you must prepare yourself for some resistance, ignorance and denial. Yes, even denial. Many loved one’s won’t want to believe that this is a reality. They will deny that you have an issue and challenge it. Don’t let them influence you into believing your are fine. Realizing you have a problem is a big step. Don’t let them set you back. Resistance and ignorance can also occur. This just means that they don’t understand how addiction works. Share with them the facts. Addiction is a disease and should be treated like one. If you had the ability to stop on your own you would have, but now it is time for outside help.
Getting them to understand and accept your addiction is the first step. Now, you need to share with the a plan for your recovery. Explaining how you will overcome this problem is essential to having them on your side. Showing them that you have an action plan suggests you are on top of the issue. This can include meetings, rehab, counseling, etc. Being clear with them about how you aim to solve this problem will show that you are putting in time and effort.
Finally, explain to them their role in your recovery. Making them an active part in your plan will allow them to help you, and think they’re helping you. Explain to them what is helpful and what is not. Addiction can be cured, but not right away. If they understand the entire process and plan, they’ll be there to support you along the way.
Sharing your addiction with loved one’s will help you to accept your problem. A very important part of recovery involves honesty. This means cutting out excuses and dealing with your issue head on. Having supporters by your side will influence you to stay on track because they enforce your accountability. Guilt, shame, and other negative emotions that have persisted with your addiction begin to come to a close as your are now able to recharge these relationships.