Discussing Sobriety With Your Friends and Family
Of the nearly 15 million Americans with an alcohol use disorder, only 7.3% are receiving treatment. If you've taken steps toward sobriety, you've started a journey many are hesitant to embark on. You should feel proud and encouraged to keep moving toward your goals.
One unique challenge of recovery is discussing sobriety with your friends and family. But if you use these tips, you can navigate those conversations like a pro.
Before You Break the Ice
Before you dive into conversations about your recovery, strengthen your new habits. It's not uncommon to relapse into alcoholism when you're starting out. By waiting six months to tell your friends and family, you can set yourself up for better success.
Use your AA chip to track the time you've gone without alcohol. Show it to your loved ones. It serves as a tangible reminder of how hard you've worked and how far you've come.
That First Conversation
The initial conversation with friends or family can be awkward. You may feel ashamed of your past or not know how to break the ice.
Remember that you don't have to draw out the conversation. You can simply start declining drinks or tell people you don't drink anymore if they offer you a beverage. But if your loved ones didn't know about your addiction, a longer conversation may be helpful.
Your loved ones may be supportive, but they may have other reactions, too. They may seem skeptical or reserved. They may get upset if they didn't know you were struggling.
Keep your AA token close by and remember that you've come a long way from where you started. Ultimately, nobody's feelings about your sobriety matter but your own. Stay determined to continue down the path to healing.
Keeping a Dialogue Going
One way to make it easier to talk about in the long run is by keeping the conversation going. Don't shy away from opportunities to mention what's been going well or share your goals. You can even show them your sobriety coins as you meet new milestones.
Ask your friends and family to check in now and then if you think it would be helpful. Giving them some agency in the conversation may put them at ease when talking with you about it.
If appropriate, you should ask family members or friends to help you stay accountable. Try to pick friends who are disciplined themselves. A friend who parties a lot or lives in the moment is not the right candidate.
Accountability is one of the best methods of maintaining sobriety. So pick your partners carefully, making sure you check in to discuss your progress. For added accountability, continue attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
The path to sobriety is challenging, and you'll need people in your corner. Discussing your recovery can feel like an even harder mountain to climb, but you can do it. Take it slow and prepare yourself for a range of reactions.
Keep people informed and include them on your journey. And track your progress! Use a journal, tokens, and chips to help you see how far you've come.
To pick out chips for your first year of sobriety, click here.