You’ve decided to quit drinking and using, so the hard part’s done, right? Yes and no. This is the start of a new way of life. With that comes changing how you interact with people.
The old you that would drink, drug, and cause trouble is gone. How to explain the change to friends, family, and loved ones? Read on for things to consider when you're thinking about telling people you are getting sober.
1. It’s your choice who to share with
Early sobriety can be a challenging and vulnerable time. Some people may be supportive of your decision. Some people may not. Some people may have opinions about how you should stay sober. Other people may try to tell you you’re not an alcoholic or an addict. Remember that whatever happens, it is your decision to share (or not) your recovery with others. Wait until you feel confident before telling people who may judge or criticize your decision. Share with those who support and uplift you.
2. It’s natural to feel anxious
It’s okay if you don’t know how to navigate these conversations. Tell people who you can trust and with whom you feel safe. If you’re nervous, talk with a friend who has time in recovery, a trusted counselor from a treatment program, or a sponsor from a 12 step program to hear about their experience.
3. Choose the right time and place
No need to blurt out your new path of recovery on the mic at the next wedding you attend. Living sober is all about making graceful choices in your life. This also means selecting who you want to know about your sobriety, and when and where you disclose it. Pick a time when all people involved are sober. Talk when the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. If it is someone who you have a hard time communicating with, write out what you want to say beforehand to help form your thoughts.
4. Relax and take it easy!
Remember that whatever the outcome, you are sharing positive news. Regardless of the person’s reception of your choice (approval, disbelief, doubt, sorrow, anger, negativity, or joy), you are doing what is right for you, your life, and your future. Don’t let a response you didn’t expect or want deter you from your course. Be calm, be courageous, and be graceful.
If you or a loved one needs help getting sober, don’t hesitate to contact the Pat Moore Foundation for support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.