Pursuing sobriety is an amazing experience, and alumni who have graduated from a detox and residential treatment program at Hawaii Island Recovery and are beginning their life of sobriety outside of a treatment facility should take pride in their accomplishments. However, this newfound life can also come with unique challenges, particularly when meeting others who may not understand or support sobriety. Knowing when to tell others about a personal recovery journey and determining even if an individual is ready to tell others about their sobriety outside of a dedicated sober environment is an important decision to make.
Why It Is Important to Tell Others About Sobriety
Talking to others about a person’s sober journey can have many positive benefits. For those navigating continued outpatient care or local support groups available through Hawaii Island Recovery, talking with others who have lived through the challenges of substance use disorder (SUD) themselves can create a newfound feeling of camaraderie, understanding, and support. By being open to discussing the intricacies and vulnerabilities commonplace throughout each recovery journey, those in recovery can build new relationships with peers and best work alongside others to facilitate continued support and the development of new coping strategies.
Likewise, being willing to tell others about their journey with rehab in Hawaii can help supports, friends, and families better understand the challenges ahead and create a unified plan to overcome continued prevalent stresses as an alumnus. This level of openness can empower those in recovery to readily ask for help, enact coping strategies and escape plans, and garner the necessary feeling of acceptance to facilitate a healthy life.
However, there may also be times when an individual is not ready to tell others about their journey due to pervasive stigmas, the emotional and mental toll of recounting their journey with addictive substances, or feeling as if such disclosure would be met with more criticism than support. Determining when it is time to tell others about recovery is a learned skill, and each person will have their own decision to make based on their needs, goals, and feelings in each situation.
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When to Tell Others About Sobriety
Determining when each person is ready to tell others about their sober journey is a personal question. Likewise, there is no time when an individual must begin talking about such vulnerable topics. Rather, it is more important to decide if each person is ready to tell others about their sobriety based on how they are feeling at the time, their overall recovery journey, and their unique situation at hand.
Establish Sober Confidence
Pursuing a life of sobriety is a noble and difficult thing to do. However, before talking about a person’s sobriety with others, it is important first to be confident in oneself about the challenges at hand. Reaching personal goals and sober milestones, navigating urges and cravings, and otherwise creating a stable foundation of sobriety are all crucial to best articulate the importance of an individual’s sobriety and the success that it has brought them. Moreover, being sure about sober decisions can mitigate feelings of doubt or difficult questions that may arise.
Start With Important Relationships
Those in recovery do not necessarily have to tell everyone at once about their sober journey. Rather, each person can choose who they feel comfortable disclosing such information, when, and even how much information is shared at any given time. If an individual is ready to begin to tell others about their sober journey, starting with important relationships is a great first step. This can include family members, close friends, or trusted coworkers with whom an individual sees frequently.
Telling others about a person’s journey and lifestyle as an alumnus can inform these meaningful relationships as well, setting new expectations and outlining the need to begin new traditions, amend established routines, and otherwise refocus daily life further on the sober change of each alumnus.
Build a Sense of Accountability
When an individual decides to tell others about their sobriety can also be informed by their daily structure. Trusted friends and family can be important supports, further holding an individual accountable for their actions and behaviors throughout everyday sober life. Accountability can help each alumnus be more in control of their actions and behaviors. However, just as an individual can be held accountable for mistakes in their journey to sobriety, they are equally as accountable for their accomplishments, promoting an open, honest, and fair approach to celebrating accomplishments in sobriety.
Navigate a Professional Setting
Telling others about a person’s sobriety in a professional setting can be incredibly intimidating. However, those in recovery do not necessarily have to disclose everything about their journey at once. While it may be somewhat unavoidable, such as if an individual is directly asked about a gap in their resume during an interview, alumni still have a great deal of agency over how to tell others about their experiences.
Focusing on the skills and empowerment that recovery has given an individual in the present and the positive changes and life skills embraced can keep these conversations focused on present success rather than a vulnerable past, which may certainly not reflect the person that each alumnus is today. Deciding how much to disclose, as well as using the opportunity to set professional expectations such as scheduling around continued outpatient treatment, can be a great way to approach telling others about each person’s sober journey.
Talking to others about the journey with addiction is filled with uncertainty and stress. However, we at Hawaii Island Recovery are committed to helping you take this first step toward a comfortable approach to your newfound sober life. Talking about your recovery journey through rehab in Hawaii can be difficult, but the communities of support, understanding, and more are all part of becoming comfortable in your decision to pursue sobriety and a life of change. From proven therapeutic modalities to helping you explore your own reasons for pursuing a transformed life, we champion the opportunity to empower you through your desired change. For more information on how we can help you, call to speak to us today at (866) 390-5070.