Self-examination can be tough. No one wants to admit to making a mistake. Regardless, being open is an important part of changing any person’s lifestyle.
This is especially true when it comes to addiction. Being honest with yourself is a critical part of recognizing your own need for help.
Unfortunately, most people hit rock bottom before they realize they have an addiction and need help. By this point, they have lied to their family members about the addiction so many times that the idea of coming clean is extremely scary.
Hiding substance use damages relationships within families and between partners, straining trust and pushing people apart. The best way to deal with your addiction is to get the problem out in the open.
Do I Have an Addiction?
First and foremost, it is important that you ask yourself the following questions to assess whether your drug or alcohol use requires addiction treatment:
- Do I use alcohol or drugs more than other people I know?
- Has the use of substances caused me to miss work, school, appointments or other obligations?
- Have I had a substance-related legal problem or DUI?
- Have I ever had trouble remembering events after I use drugs or alcohol?
- Do I struggle to stop drinking after one or two drinks?
- Do I experience overwhelming cravings for alcohol or drugs?
- Do I feel guilty or shameful after drinking or using drugs?
- Has anyone expressed concern about my use of alcohol or drugs?
- Has my substance use escalated recently?
- Do I need to drink or use to enjoy myself?
Be honest in assessing yourself. Taking responsibility for your behavior will make it easier to start a positive change.
Why Should I Tell My Loved Ones?
Even after you admit to yourself that you are struggling with an addiction, you may hesitate to admit the same thing to your family. You may worry that your loved ones won’t be supportive or that telling them about your problem will hurt them and bring about negative consequences.
The wise person embarking on a difficult journey knows that he or she will need support along the way. Reaching out to your loved ones is important because overcoming addiction is one such difficult journey.
More importantly, talking to your loved ones about your addiction is necessary because this confession is the first step toward recovery.
Your family may already have an inkling that you’re struggling with drug or alcohol use, but either way, it’s time to be up-front about your addiction. Instead of blindsiding them with a decision to seek treatment, reach out and give your family an opportunity to support you.
Tips for Telling Your Family About Your Addiction
There are ways to prepare for this important conversation ahead of time and to make the experience more comfortable. Here are a few tips:
- Make a list of who you want to involve in the conversation.
- Attend support groups for practice.
- Check out online support communities or message boards.
- Write out ideas of what you want to say.
- Communicate how friends and family can support you.
Consider bringing a friend when you sit down with your loved ones to discuss your addiction. Having someone around who already knows about your addiction will help make you more comfortable, ease your mind and make you less defensive.
The Big Talk
- Start the conversation by asking your loved ones to try to listen without criticizing.
- Bring the notes you’ve prepared in advance to glance at if you get nervous. Say what you need to say.
- Conclude by letting them know how you want them to be involved in your recovery. Involving family members in support helps focus on helping you instead of the negative behaviors.
The Importance of Including the Family in the Recovery Process
When a loved one is suffering from addiction, the whole family is affected. Your family members can be your best advocates and lifelong allies in recovery. There are many ways they can support you.
It helps to approach your family prior to treatment. There is a lot of information your family will need to educate themselves on with regard to substance abuse and the treatment process.
If your drug and alcohol use is starting to compromise your lifestyle, career or relationships, it may be time to consider a professional treatment center. There is wisdom in seeking help when you need it.
The role of the family is very important in addiction recovery. Interactions that are healthy and positive can be the best source of support.
It may seem hard to reach out at first, but the hope of a better life starts at the other end of that first phone call. Contact The Treatment Center today to speak to a counselor about your recovery options.