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How to Tell People You’re in Recovery

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Completing detox and rehab for substance use disorders is the first part of the recovery process. As you adjust to your new sober lifestyle, you will have to decide when and how to tell people you’re in recovery. 

Why Is It Hard to Tell Someone You’re in Recovery?

Some people find it hard to tell others they are in recovery. They may feel embarrassed, guilty, shameful, or worried about how others will react once they find out. The person in recovery can also feel overly anxious and stressed because they are unsure of what to do. 

When to Tell Someone You’re in Recovery

There may never be that perfect moment to tell someone you’re in recovery. However, that does not mean you should avoid telling others if you want to tell them. It is entirely up to you to decide how you want to tell others and what you want to say to them. 

In addition, sharing that you are in recovery can make you feel better. You can feel a big weight lifting and feel more at ease and comfortable around the person you told. Yet, it is understandable that you may be hesitant to say anything if you worry they may be judgmental.

How to Tell People You’re in Recovery

Learning how to tell people you’re in recovery is an essential skill you need to develop as part of the recovery process. Initially, you may not be too comfortable sharing this information with others. However, the more you talk about your recovery and sobriety, the more comfortable you can become, so you are no longer afraid or worried about what others think. 

To help you become more comfortable telling others, we recommend reviewing the following tips.

Do not feel like you have to overshare details about your addiction and recovery.

You can keep things short and to the point without going into any details. For example, if someone asks if you want a drink, you can simply say, “I’m in recovery, no thank you.” and leave it at that. 

If they ask you questions you are uncomfortable answering, then politely tell them you are not yet comfortable talking about it. If they press you for details, you can respond by saying it is in the past. 

As you become more comfortable with your recovery and sobriety, then you can share further details about your recovery and addiction. 

Do not worry if others judge you after you tell them. 

As you tell people you are in recovery, they may not always respond positively. For example, some friends and family members may have their doubts because they have been around you through your addiction. In this case, it is best to prove them wrong through your actions. 

On the other hand, some people will be judgmental and not understand why you are in recovery and why you cannot drink or use drugs occasionally. When you come across someone like this, you need to question whether maintaining a relationship with them is really best for your sobriety and recovery. 

Chances are, you will not want someone who is judgmental of your recovery in your life. Having people like this in your life could actually be counterproductive to your recovery and sobriety.  

You do not have to tell everyone, just those who matter most to you.

Not everyone needs to know your personal business or that you are in recovery. The only people you should focus on are the ones that matter the most to you. 

For example, if you are in a restaurant and the server asks if you want a drink, you can simply say no thank you. You do not need to tell them you are in recovery. 

On the other hand, if you meet a close friend you haven’t seen since you have been out of rehab, and they ask if you want a drink, telling them you are in recovery or are now sober would be acceptable. 

Again, it is entirely up to you who you tell, when to tell them, and how much you tell them. 

Do not feel obligated to tell others.  

You should never feel obligated to tell others you’re in recovery. Essentially, it really is none of their business. When deciding to tell people, it should be because you want to tell them, not out of obligation. 

Write a letter to help you prepare to tell others. 

Opening up and sharing with those you want to tell can be difficult. A great tool is to write down what you want to say in a letter. Writing a letter ahead of time can help you gather your thoughts and share exactly what you want to share.

After writing your letter, you can either use it when you talk to the person or simply hand them the letter and let them read it. 

Addiction Treatment Aftercare in Murfreesboro, TN 

If you are having difficulties telling others you are in recovery or having issues with rebuilding relationships with those you have told, Tulip Hill in Murfreesboro, TN, is here to help with our addiction treatment aftercare programs. For further information, contact us today.

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Take the next step to your recovery.