If you’re in the depths of an addiction, it can be a very lonely and isolating process. The stigma surrounding addiction means that socially, your struggle is often treated as some kind of moral failing or character flaw, rather than as a genuine problem that you need help to address.
However, just because there are social stigmas that do nothing to help addicts, it doesn’t mean your family will see you as society does. Often people have ideas about certain groups until someone they love is as part of that group—then they are able to see things differently.
More often than not, your family loves you and will want to support you in whatever way they can—but you won’t be able to reap the benefits of that support if you don’t trust them enough to talk to them.
Telling those you love about your addiction is often a crucial step toward getting help. We’ll break down the specific benefits for you here.
1) It Begins the Process of Recovery
If you are living with a secret for a long time, breaking the silence may seem like a taboo, but it is exactly the right thing to do.
The only way to liberate yourself from the bondage of a dark secret is by sharing it with those you love. You cannot ask for help or get support until you’ve first told the people close to you your secret, so you can be free of its weight.
2) Your Family will Respect Your Honesty
More often than not, when clients say they told their family about their addiction problem, usually their family had an inkling already. Addictive behavior leaves traces in a home, on the face, on the body, and in an individual’s actions. Most people aren’t fools; they can tell when something abnormal is afoot.
Your family will usually respect that you are finally being honest with them—because it’s a very brave thing to do.
3) They Will Help You Get Treatment
Starting to talk is a way to begin the process of recovery from addiction, even if you feel you’re not ready yet, your unconscious actions are saying otherwise. Your family will want you to get better, and so will encourage you toward getting treatment in the community or in rehab, as most people need conventional treatment to begin the road to recovery.
4) They Will Support You Every Step of the Way
People who have a good support system are more likely to recover from a whole host of ailments than those who lack the same support. This is true of cancers and other illnesses, including mental health issues like addiction.
If you know you have those who love you rooting for you, it gives you the will to go on. Even if you feel like you can’t do it for yourself, you will want to do it for them, and that bond of love is something that will only aid your recovery.
5) You Will Feel Less Isolated
Humans are social animals and community creatures, we’re not meant to face hurdles on our own. If you feel isolated from the people you love, you will feel you have less stake in your community, and ultimately, in this life.
Embrace the bonds you have with the people around you will ultimately give you a stronger motivation toward recovery, and more things to live for. Just sharing with your family will help you feel like you don’t have to tackle everything by yourself—something which will only help you.
6) You Can Share Your Experiences Again
Once you’ve taken the step to talk initially, you’ll probably feel a great wave of relief, after keeping such a secret to yourself for such a long time. Carrying problems alone can be difficult, if not impossible to bear.
You will soon realize that sharing your feelings makes you feel good every time you do it. This is an asset for every stage in the process of recovery.
There are many good reasons to share with your family. However, if you are certain your family members are unsupportive, perhaps because they are cruel and abusive, it may not be the right thing for you to do.
These benefits still stand if you share with others who are close to you, who you hold dearer than your relatives, like a partner or close friends. People who love you will help you find legitimate rehabilitation treatment, like the kind offered by SOBA New Jersey.