Addicts often wallow in addiction much longer than they should because of their inability to reach out for help. Most of the time, addicts try to keep their substance abuse secret from their closest friends and family.
They don’t want to worry their family or have to face consequences for their behavior. And many times they know their loved ones will want them to seek treatment, which is something they want to avoid doing for as long as possible. However, by coming clean to friends and family about an addiction, it is the first major step towards an addict reclaiming his life.
Write A Letter
Sometimes it’s easier to put down your thoughts in words, particularly when talking about such an emotional issue with people you already have a long history with. Old feelings, resentments, and memories will be dredged up when coming clean about an embarrassing and painful secret.
You will also reveal your secret of addiction, which is sure to elicit a strong response, at least initially. Below are some crucial points to send to your friends and family so they can understand your story of addiction better:
- Explain how the Addiction Started:
The way substance abuse enters a person’s life rarely comes out of nowhere. Explain how using drugs or alcohol started, whether it was being influenced by what friends were doing, or using it to deal with depression and isolation. Whatever the cause, tell your story, so that those closest to you can understand what you’ve been going through. This also should be therapeutic for you to think about why you have developed an addiction, and how much it has already hurt your life.
- Ask for Support:
After explaining the story behind the development of the addiction, then ask for the support of friends and family. Addicts like to believe that they can survive on an island, but in reality to beat a substance abuse problem, an addict will need all the support he can get during the challenging rehab process. Admitting not only that you need help, but also that you can’t do it alone is a major step in the right direction.
- Ask for Non-judgment:
By revealing such a painful secret, also ask your friends to be non-judgmental, so that you can continue to be open with them about working towards recovery.
Promise To Seek Immediate Treatment
After delivering the letters and allowing them some time to digest the information, request to meet each recipient personally. The people who are on the list are the people you deem as the ones who are most important. So meeting with each of them privately is crucial to come clean with them about your addiction. Since you have already asked for support, now is the time to promise to seek treatment right away.
By coming clean to the people who you love most in the world, you are holding yourself accountable to keeping your word about seeking treatment. This is one of the most powerful parts of coming clean, is that you’re finally being held accountable towards working towards recovery. Loved ones will provide the support you need, but also the motivation to start the process.
Josh Stevens is Treatment Specialist at Addiction Treatment Advisors and enjoys hiking in the wilderness of the Western United States. His passion lies within his hard work with those who are in need of treatment. For more information click here.