How Do I Handle My Recovery from Alcoholism with Friends?

Getting sober can be daunting enough without worrying how you are going to handle disclosing an addiction to a friend. There is no right or wrong way to tell friends about your recovery from addiction. You have the choice whether to talk about your recovery or not. Your choice can be determined upon the degree of closeness you feel with a particular friend and mutual trust. Your comfort and safety should be a primary concern.

Aside from considering which friends to talk to, consider and determine your readiness to reveal your addiction. When you first get sober you can be very vulnerable. You haven’t had a chance to integrate your addiction with sober living. There’s lots to learn and absorb about the disease. You may be racking with guilt, shame and low self-esteem. That’s why it is good to take your time with friends. You don’t need a backlash from them or any other negative and unhelpful statements or dialog.

Some of your close friends may already know about your addiction. This could be a result of your addictive behavior. It’s good news when they’ve stuck by you through it all. If some friends keep their distance, it could mean they are angry or fed up with you. Let them have their feelings. There could come a time and place in the future where you may want to make amends. You then can have the chance to repair your friendship.

Friends don’t necessarily know how to handle you when you get sober. This is especially true if they have you over for dinner or a party. They could be concerned, with alcohol around, that you might be tempted to drink. While this might occur, it is not your problem how they feel or react when asking you what you want to drink. Set them at ease by saying, a soda or sparkling water will do just fine!

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”― Anaïs Nin

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