Those who are suffering from addiction, a chronic brain disease, can end up harboring their secret for too long. This could be due to experiencing feelings of guilt, shame, and regret. Symptoms and effects of addiction that are left untreated can end up being life-threatening. Opening up to your friends and family takes a massive amount of courage. Overcoming your fears and telling your loved ones about your addiction puts you on the road to recovery.
Disadvantages of Denial
Denial is not allowing your mind to accept the truth due to the truth being too painful or traumatic. Someone may also block out the truth because they are afraid of what others might say. Denial is very common with those suffering from addiction and is a big stumbling block to recovery. Your family and friends will find out eventually. Not telling them can really put a strain on your relationships and cause them stress. It also prolongs the time before treatment, which could have life-threatening consequences.
Signs of addiction are often hard to miss but might be difficult to distinguish. Chances are, your family and friends are aware that something is wrong. However, they may not know just what or how they should approach you. Signs of addiction range from behavioral issues, to physical symptoms, and even brain damage. Addiction needs to be treated in order for the person suffering to get better. Without treatment, symptoms will remain and may worsen over time.
Revealing Your Addiction
Telling your friends and family about how you are struggling with this disease can seem like a daunting process. However, it is an important step to take to help you begin the road to recovery. Your relationships may be strained, but even so, they want you to get better. The important thing to remember is that there is always hope for recovery and nobody is ever too far off the path to get back on.
You will want to find a good moment to tell them. You may not want to approach the topic in an enclosed public setting, such as a restaurant. A comfortable and quiet place is often recommended. Choose a location where it feels safe and calming. Your family members may be taken aback, but that is okay. Be prepared to answer any questions they may ask you.
Try your best to keep your emotions in check. Family members may have a lot of pent up aggression towards you and may not know how to talk with you about your addiction. You might have a family member that is not well educated on addiction and says things that are not true. It would be appropriate to calmly educate that person. However, you are only responsible for the way you act and what you say. Staying calm in these situations is very difficult. Allow yourself to feel any negative emotions and then self-reflect, allowing understanding to come forth.
Be Honest with Yourself and Your Family
Regardless of how your family initially reacts, they will most likely begin to support you. When you sit down with your family and friends, including thereafter, be honest with them. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when it comes to trying to mend relationships. Explain to them what happened during your addiction and why things happened the way they did.
There may be a reason as to why this addiction started, such as trying to self-medicate or peer pressure. That would be important to discuss with your family and friends as well. If your loved one has opened up to you or you plan on opening up, it is important to note that addiction does not make a person bad. Addiction is a powerful disease that causes changes in the brain. While addiction should not be used as an excuse for your actions, it does not mean you are a bad person.
Share Your Plan of Action
Apologizing for things you have done, as well as taking responsibility, is a great step. However, sharing your plan of action with your friends and family ties it all together. This shows that you are serious about getting better and want them there alongside you. Your family members may know someone who can point you in the right direction. They may be all on board to help you sort through options and find what may be best for you.
Someone is not able to overcome addiction without treatment. At-home treatment, as well as detoxing at home, can be incredibly dangerous. Trying to do what is normally done by professionals can lead to relapse, overdose, or even death. Treatment centers that provide holistic approaches are often the most successful. This means that they treat not only the addiction but every facet of that person’s life.
My Family Will Not Support Me
Often, those who are ready to tell their family about their addiction are worried that they will not support them. While this is not always the case, it sometimes is. Remember that your family has been through a lot during this time and if they choose not to offer you their support, you cannot force them. Reach out to other family members, such as cousins or aunts and uncles. Share your story with your friends. Just having one person on your side will positively affect the recovery process. Family members who were hesitant before may come around once you enroll in a treatment center.
Seek The Help You Deserve
Starting the road to recovery can feel like a daunting task, but it is the most rewarding milestone. Everyone who suffers from addiction deserves treatment, just as someone battling heart disease needs treatment. After telling friends and family, it is almost like a weight being pulled off of your shoulders.
The Arizona Addiction Recovery Center believes in the importance of family, as part of the recovery process. That is why sessions with family members are available and they will join you to discuss your progress. Their healthcare professionals strive to provide you with a high-quality evaluation upon your arrival, identifying any underlying mental health issues and curating which program will work best for you. Their dedicated team not only focuses on the addiction but wants to help improve every aspect of your life. Call today and learn more about how Arizona Addiction Recovery Center can change your life.
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Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Arizona Addiction Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007. Call 888.512.1705.