“Hiding, secrets, and not being able to be yourself is one of the worst things ever for a person. It gives you low self-esteem. You never get to reach that peak in your life.” – Grace Jones
I remember when I was deep in my crack addiction in 2004 and my sister and brother in law came to visit me. They were coming for a longer period than I could go without using. I was a nightmare. The plans I needed to put in place to not get caught were ridiculous. The excuses for my behavior, the secrecy I operated in out of fear of being found out were so crippling. The ship of my life was already taking on water. Now more holes were being drilled into the hull of my life. It all came out that weekend. I still wouldn’t get sober for another year.
Here is what I found out; they already knew. Maybe they didn’t know the details or the depths I had fallen to, but they knew I was struggling. After I got sober and worked with others, I heard more stories. It seems like those of us at the final surrender where coming clean to people whom already knew. When we thought we were going to hurt them, it turned out to be a massive sense of relief for them. We were freeing them. Finally, they could engage us on a platform of truth where real change was possible. Yes, the loved ones may have been scared for us and themselves, maybe even dealt with their guilt and shame and wrongfully assumed that they had a hand in our addiction. The reality is the addict or alcoholic, and the loved one had a chance at some real healing when we fessed up. Even if we hide our addiction so well that they had no clue, our loved ones want the best for us.
How to Tell Your Family That You Need Help
Asking for help can be difficult, especially when it comes to something as delicate as addiction. If we truly want to stop using and abusing substances, then it’s truly a matter of life and death to ask for help. This can take a tremendous amount of courage, and for many of us, we may have been the last ones to realize that something was wrong.
Come Clean: Honesty Will Empower You
The obvious is obvious. We can never overcome a problem we can’t admit exists or are too afraid to address. Taking ownership of the problem is the thing that empowers us to make changes. It can feel overwhelming but is mandatory. Have courage in this moment, and trust that your honesty is necessary in order for you to get help.
Be Brave: You Can Do This
Getting it out is all that’s needed. The horse is out of the barn is an expression that would apply here. A spouse that has cheated and can no longer live with themselves merely need to be honest with their partner and the rest will happen in whatever way it does. Easy to say, harder to do. That same level of gut-wrenching honesty applies here. This is a life or death issue.
Ask for Help: Addiction Can Be Deadly
The actual purpose of you telling your family about your alcoholism or addiction is to get help. Ask up front and quickly. Enroll them in helping you to find a solution. Addiction and alcoholism are not vehicles for living productive and happy lives. Sobriety and getting help is the solution, but we must take that action. You can do this, and while this process is seldom easy, it’s undoubtedly worth it!
Admittance of a drug or alcohol problem may be one of the hardest conversations we ever have. It’s also the most important. Don’t wait! If you believe that you are ready for substance misuse treatment, call us today at 855-448-3588. We’re here to help you get on the path to recovery.