Admitting that there is a problem to yourself is hard enough. However, sharing your experiences with addiction with your loved ones can also be challenging. You might need to explain to them that you’ll be gone for a few months while you’re attending addiction treatment. And when you imagine having this conversation, perhaps with some family members you can guess what their response will be.
Most of your loved ones may be understanding, compassionate, and apologetic. But there might be one or two that will be difficult to talk with.
They might send messages of disapproval and rejection. However, with the right tools and the right tone of voice, sharing your experiences can be an act of courage.
Besides, talking to your family about addiction is the best thing you can do as you enter recovery. You’re going to need them to support you, especially during the early recovery stages. When you’re ready to begin having this kind of conversation, be sure to keep the following points in mind.
Talk to Your Family at the Right Time
When a spouse knows that he has an important piece of information to share with his wife, he knows he needs to wait until she’s ready to hear it. Maybe that time is right before bed or early in the morning before the kids have gotten up. Waiting for the right time to talk to each of your family members can facilitate gaining their understanding and support.
Be Prepared With What You’re Going to Say
Just like finding the right time, you might need to also find the right words. If you’re caught off guard, you’ll know the precise words to share so that you’re getting your point across the way you need to.
Don’t Engage In Arguments
Although one or two family members might be argumentative, disappointed, or angry, avoid the arguments. If someone begins to raise their voice, stay calm and share what you need to say.
Outline Your Treatment Plan
Once you share your experience with addiction, it’s important to tell your family what you’re planning to do about it. There’s a good chance that your family members and loved ones have noticed a difference in you and they will want to know how you’re going to take care of yourself. Let them know where you’re going for addiction treatment, how long you’ll be gone, and what you intend to do when you’re done. Also, in this conversation, you’re likely going to want to seek their support. Let them know that treatment and recovery might be challenging at times and that you hope to call on them when you need to.
These are a few points to keep in mind when you’re preparing to talk to your family. For some, it may not be an easy conversation to have. However, the fact that you are doing something about it and that you’re talking to them about the addiction shows a commitment to sobriety. This conversation could also be the beginning of repairing any relationships that might have gone sour during the addiction.
If you need further support when having these conversations, working with a mental health provider can help.
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