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Accountability and Being Open About Your Recovery

There are intentional steps you can take to build a support network with accountability and to communicate in a more open way

When you are in recovery, the thought of sharing your struggles with someone else can feel immense. Once fear multiplies thoughts inside your head,  you start to assume that others will judge you or even look down on you for being in recovery. However, when you are sober, you need to have as much support around you as possible. The more support you have, in many cases, the better you will do in recovery. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can simplify this into some basic steps including the following:

Tell your family – Talking to your family about your addiction is an essential step of your recovery. Depending on the relationship you have with your family, this may require more effort. You and only you know the specific details of your situation in Anchorage. Do not feel you have to tell your entire family at once. Just go to the family member you have a best relationship with, and have a conversation. Talk with your close friends – In some situations, telling your friends could be easier than telling some other groups. Your friends see things that you don’t. In many situations it will not be shocking to them if you say you are in recovery. Again, keep in mind that the fears you have are likely not reality. It is very, very rare that a friend would stop talking with you if you tell them you are in recovery. This is a time that you need help. Your close friends will know and realize this. If a situation develops where talking about your recovery does change your relationship with your friend, it is possible that he or she struggles with addiction as well or just needs some space.

Go to a support group – Not everyone is ready to tell friends or family at the same time. A support group like Alcoholics Anonymous is a safe place where you can talk about your addiction and remain anonymous. No one at an AA meeting will judge you or think badly of you. This is also a great opportunity to figure out what you will tell others about your addiction. You do not need to over think this.  Just saying, “I’m an alcoholic,” or “I struggle with drug use,” is a good first step. You may even decide that you want the personal accountability of having a sponsor. For more information about this, feel free to go here.

Ask for help – A therapist can give you ideas for how to tell others about your recovery. You can even talk about the specific relationship you have with the individual you want to talk with. A therapist will give you a fantastic outside perspective. You may even decide to talk through the entire process of what you will say with a therapist. It is important to note if you don’t have a therapist, you can call the helpline or find information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration where you can get help. This resource specifically features grants related to recovery and recovery support.

These steps will help you start to communicate openly about your addiction in Anchorage. In most cases, addiction surfaces in isolation and grows stronger as substances are continually abused in secret. Because of this, open communication is essential when in recovery. It is the exact opposite of continuing to abuse substances in private. Sobriety means having intentional boundaries and building a support network around your self. Open communication is the foundation for this. The following are a few ways of how being open helps you in your recovery:

  • Open communication can rebuild broken relationships – When you abuse drugs or alcohol, trust is fractured with the relationships around you. In many ways, the substance being abused is the most important thing in the world to you. As a result, lying, stealing and even mentally or physically abusive behavior may result. But when open communication is reestablished, trust now has the opportunity to form again. For many families and friends, going to Al-Anon or a support group can be very helpful in this process; just knowing you are not alone and also receiving encouragement from others is very helpful.
  • Openly expressing how you feel with others reduces the chance of relapse – Relapse often starts when an addict experiences a trigger, which is something that reminds the individual of using again, then isolates himself and starts to fixate on getting high again. Instead of pulling away and focusing on the addiction, open communication means talking things over with friends, family, a therapist or a sponsor. This can be very helpful to the entire recovery process as the outside perspective can in many cases give insight as to what the specific trigger was and also provide help during this time of need. Open communication leads to less stress – When an individual is open and honest about struggles with addiction, this actually removes a large amount of stress. No more lies or facades are needed. Instead, being honest and open leads to freedom as if a very heavy weight has been removed. Fear loves to keep things hidden, but once the truth is spoken, addiction loses some of its power.

If you have any questions about how to tell others about your addiction, or if you would like to get sober, please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline and talk to one of our counselors. They will listen carefully to your situation and provide guidance to help you in your situation in Anchorage.