Admitting Your Addiction, Discussing the Way Forward
It’s always said that the most important stage in the recovery process is not checking into residential rehab centres for alcoholics – it’s admitting you have a problem in the first place. Speak to anyone that’s ever recovered from an alcohol problem and they’ll tell you how true this is. It’s not until you find yourself in the midst of such an issue that you really gain an understanding of how difficult it can be to face up to the reality of things. You don’t want to admit the problem to yourself, you don’t want to face the consequences of addiction and you really don’t want to admit it to your loved ones.
It’s natural to assume that by bringing your addiction out in the open, you will place excessive and unfair pressure on those around you. That you will become a burden – a person they worry about, are disappointed in, embarrassed by and so on. This is precisely why it can be commonplace for alcoholics to remain in denial, though it’s only by bringing things out in the open that recovery can begin.
Which is, after all, the only thing that matters to those who care about you.
Here’s a quick look at just a few tips from the experts on how to admit your addiction, come clean to those around you and generally begin discussing the best way forward:
- First and foremost, it’s worth remembering that long before you actually bring the matter up with your friends and family, you can always seek the help and advice of a professional counsellor. Chances are you will be filled with so many conflicting and terrifying emotions that you will have no idea what to say, how to say it and what kinds of reactions to expect. This can make it a seemingly impossible challenge to overcome, but by speaking with the experts first you might find it much easier to approach.
- Also of the utmost importance before getting started is knowing what you plan to do about your problems. It’s not a case of saying “This is my problem now please deal with it” but rather “This is my problem and this is what I intend to do about it”. This is where the difference lies between asking for help and burdening others. From detox to rehab to counselling to self-help and so on, make sure you know what you plan to do before you bring the subject up.
- There’s a very strong chance that with emotions running as high as they will be, you will most likely forget about 95% of what you wanted to say. Instead, you may end up making things up as you go along which may not be nearly as proactive and productive as you’d have liked. As such, think about writing down as many key points and reminders as necessary, in order to bring them with you and raise them all appropriately.
- In terms of reactions, given the fact that it’s something none of you have ever had to deal with before, it is impossible to accurately know what to expect. As such, it’s a good idea to be prepared for anything. It could be that they were expecting it and it all comes as no surprise to them. It could be that they didn’t see it coming and it therefore comes as the biggest shock to the system imaginable. Or it could be that they’ve been waiting for so long for you to admit the problem and have become frustrated. Whatever the initial reaction, it is simply a case of emotion taking precedence over logic for a temporary period and need not be taken too personally.
- Last but not least, if you think it’s going to be a quick one-off chat and all is sorted, you can forget about it. You must absolutely take your time and give it all as much time as it needs. The ‘meeting’ you organise will most likely end up turning into something of an on-going meeting, the likes of which filters into the everyday. It’s not as if you can expect your loved ones to just say “Ok, no worries” and things go back to normal immediately after you’re done talking. Quite to the contrary in fact, it will all have an enormous impact on everything that happens from thereon in, but you must remember that it’s all geared toward a positive outcome. So even if it happens to be unpleasant at the time…which it very well might be…it’s still a step in the right direction.