Addiction has a ripple effect that touches the people close to you and your local community. When you try to avoid taking responsibility or accepting your current circumstances, you might unintentionally cause pain for individuals around you. Therefore, it is essential, to be honest with the people you care about in your life and yourself.
Rehabilitation treatment and continuing care require you to change and heal. You will learn how to process difficult emotions and cope with situations that may have previously been overwhelming. However, if you do not accept your circumstances and communicate honestly, you may miss valuable opportunities for growth and increasing self-efficacy. Honesty also plays a significant role in relapse prevention education.
What is Honest Communication?
Honesty is above all else about open and clear communication with the people in your life who you trust. Your friends, family, clinical team, and peers need to understand where you are physically and emotionally in your recovery if they want to help. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable in that way may not come naturally, but the benefits include:
- More personalized and relevant treatments
- Understanding, encouragement, and support from your support system
- Crisis intervention if you ever get entirely overwhelmed
- Relief from being heard and valued
- Assistance with any problems you may be having
You need to be capable of sharing the good and the bad with your support system and other people in your life. Freedom comes from accepting your past and present circumstances and then making an effort to keep moving forward. Self-awareness includes learning how to identify when you need help. You may face a moment in time where you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed by a situation.
When that happens, if you have practiced communicating with others who care about you, then it will be easier to reach out for assistance from loved ones or medical professionals.
Use Your Support System
When you feel overwhelmed or experience cravings, it is essential to let people you trust know what is happening. You might want to avoid disappointing them by lying about issues you are having, but that is unhealthy and will increase the risk of relapse. A support system often includes the following:
- Trusted friends and family members
- Significant others
- Support Groups
- Sober peers
You should try to practice honesty and openness when communicating with the people in your support system. When they understand where you are and what is going on, it will be easier for them to encourage you and provide valuable suggestions or resources. If you are dishonest or try to minimize how you feel, it can have unwanted side effects.
Current Circumstance Guide Your Recovery
Your recovery is a journey, and current circumstances will impact how you react and grow. Being dishonest about challenges can cause increased stress, anxiety, and depression. By connecting with others and opening up lines of communication, you significantly decrease risk factors associated with substance use and mental health disorders. Everyone deserves to have a voice, and in cases like SUD, it is vital to a healthy life.
Keeping a mood journal and making detailed plans and routines can make it easier to notice when things slip a bit off track. Identifying problem areas and then taking action to fix them becomes easier when you feel confident and comfortable speaking honestly with others. Clear communication is critical when interacting with your medical team and anyone related to your aftercare. Some SUDs and co-occurring disorders might interfere with your ability to express things they need to know, and “communication failures can lead to missed therapeutic opportunities.”
How to Have Difficult Conversations
Sometimes it is necessary but difficult to talk with friends, peers, family members, and work or school acquaintances about what you are going through. Maybe you want to reconnect with a family member, or your mental health requires you to take some time off work. Talking with others about any subject is easier when you strategize about how to approach it ahead of time. Prepare what you want to say and any additional information you may need to answer questions or provide more context.
For example, if you need to take a few health days off work, be prepared to provide a specific date and time of your return and ensure someone can cover any time-specific tasks. You never have to disclose personal medical information to others, but the more context you can give them about how you feel and why the easier it will be for them to accommodate any changes you need. You have a second chance to take control of your health and future.
Your recovery depends on how well you can use the new skills you get through treatment and therapy. Honest communication is a valuable tool that can help you navigate unexpected and difficult situations. During continuing care after treatment, you will need to know how to speak with your support system about any challenges you encounter. At White House Recovery and Detox, we provide life skills and relapse prevention education to help program participants learn how to identify issues and find healthy solutions. We practice clear and transparent communication and expect the same from individuals seeking treatment. You can regain control of your life and lead a healthy, sober life. Change starts with being honest with yourself and the people trying to help you. To learn more about what we offer at White House Recovery and Detox, reach out today. You can call us at (800) 510-5393 to speak with an intake specialist or set up an appointment.