They say confession is good for the soul. You wonder if they know about the stigma that comes with the “addict” label.
It can be terrifying to share your story. Once you admit you have a problem with substance abuse, there’s no going back. The truth is out there and what people do with it may not be great. How will they treat you? What consequences will you endure for being open and honest?
It’s Worth the Risk
Yes, if you reveal yourself, you run the risk of judgement and misunderstanding. You may focus your fear on weighty consequences,but what about the positive results?
The truth of the matter is that, when you consider the benefits of sharing your addiction recovery story, you’ll likely discover they far outweigh the risks. By relating your experiences, you reap the benefits of R.E.L.E.A.S.E. and R.E.L.A.T.E.
Here’s what you can look forward to:
- Release: Sharing your story is extremely cathartic. By getting it all out there in your own words, you can release any further hold your history of addiction has on you.
- Encouragement: When you tell others about your experiences, you’ll likely receive words of encouragement about how far you’ve come, where you are now and the hope they see for your future.
- Love for Self: Sharing your story is a way of saying you’re worth hearing. It affirms your worth. You have value and so does your story. Telling it reminds you that you are lovable and can love yourself.
- Establishment of Your Story: Once you’ve spoken it out loud, your story is more concrete. It feels more real to you. It’s no longer a dream or a wish. It’s tangible, and it’s your own.
- Accountability: Once others know the whole truth – and nothing but the truth – they can offer accountability to keep you on your recovery path. You will have additional support to help your story have a happy ending.
- Strengthening: By reviewing your story, you strengthen your resolve. Sharing your experiences provides the opportunity to recommit to your goals and encourage you in your recovery process.
- Evidence: By opening up about your past (and present), you are submitting evidence of your problem, your desire to change and how far you have come. Your recovery story becomes exhibit A in your life and you can look at it as a defining experience. It really happened. It’s important. It’s part of you.
Relate to Others
- Relationship: Hearing your story can create a strong bond between you and the listener. This can lead to great friendships or mentor relationships.
By opening up, you could have a lasting positive influence, making an impression in ways you may never even see.
- Encouragement: When someone else knows they’re not alone in the struggle, it can be an immense encouragement to their own recovery process.. Hearing your story could be the support they need.
- Leading: Sharing your story is a way of leading by example. When others see your courage, they are more likely to muster up the courage to share their own story.
- Aspirations: Seeing how far you’ve come can offer hope to others struggling to enter recovery. The hope your life provides could transform theirs.
- Tips: Beyond hope and encouragement, the things you share can provide practical suggestions to help others who are struggling. Something that you found helpful could offer a great strategy for someone else.
- Experience: Most likely, hearing your story will be an experience that others never forget. It will be impactful on your relationship with each other and it can continue to impact their life for years to come. By opening up, you could have a lasting positive influence, making an impression in ways you may never even see.
Additional Reading: Let it Out: 5 Emotional Releases That Benefit Recovery
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