There are obstacles in an addict’s life once they’ve decided to get clean. One that was particularly difficult for me, after I had made the decision to stop using drugs, was how to go to my family and honestly ask for the help that I needed. By the time you are ready to take this step you have gotten so used to lying and shutting loved ones out, that coming out with this problem feels terrifying. However, this is an important first step in recovery and in rebuilding the trusting relationships with your family and friends. It takes several steps.
Step one: Realize that this “secret” you believe you’ve been hiding isn’t always as big of a secret as you think. People who have known you your whole life have probably seen a big change in you throughout the time that you’ve been using. Even if you have lied to them in the past about your drug addiction, now is your time to tell the truth. Choose a day to gather your family together and make sure to stick to that day.
Step two: Have a written plan for your family. Have an exact date that you plan to enter rehab. Keep in mind that just saying that you plan to get clean “someday” or that you are “completely done with drugs” are things that your family may have heard you say to them before and never followed through with. Let your family say what they feel like they need to say and do your best not to become defensive.
Step three: After discussing your plan and listening to your family’s input, this will be the time to follow through with whatever decisions have been made. It is important for your family to see action and willingness to stay true to your word. Though it may seem like your drug use has only affected you, in reality, it has affected all of your loved ones.
Every situation and every family dynamic is unique. For me, having my family be involved in my recovery was important. Not everyone wanted to be involved, and although that was painful for me, I had to remember that each person heals at their own pace. I had hurt some more than I realized at the time. My family’s decision and my own was for me to go to rehab. I have been clean and have repaired many relationships but all of this started with an honest conversation. You can, too.