If you have read my previous blog posts, you will have seen how often I mention how important talking to other people about my addiction to alcohol has been towards my recovery. There is a reason why I have been repeating myself.
Talking about my addiction was undoubtedly one of the biggest steps I took towards sobriety. Until you start talking to other people about your addiction, you haven’t fully accepted it. Keeping it to yourself is almost like feeding your denial. It makes the enormous battle you have on your hands even bigger.
Like anything else you must do to drag yourself out of alcohol addiction (or any addiction), it’s not easy. Its extremely tough to talk about a drink problem for the first time. I was ashamed of myself and I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I had this massive problem with something that most people can take and leave as they like. I felt weak.
But the fact is that as long as you are admitting you have a problem and doing everything you possibly can to recover from it, you have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. And as for feeling weak; it takes enormous strength to admit you have a problem and to open up to others about it.
From my experience, most people have a hell of a lot of respect for someone who accepts they have a drink problem and is doing all they can to beat it. Anyone who looks down at you when your trying your hardest, probably isn’t worth having in your life.
Nowadays, if I meet someone new, whether it be at work or in general, I normally tell them that I am a recovering alcoholic within the first five minutes of meeting them. Sounds a bit much doesn’t it! But little things like that help. Constant little reminders to myself.
Talking to others is not just relevant for the person with the addiction. My dad often tells me that the only way he coped when I was killing myself with alcohol was by talking to anyone who would listen to him about what was going on with me. That was his outlet. My drinking wasn’t just making me ill, it was making my family ill too, as it often does.
At the time, I hated the fact that he was telling everyone about my drinking problem, but now I’m SO glad he did. If he didn’t have that outlet, who knows what the stress and heartbreak could have done to his health.
So, if you know you have a problem with drink or any addiction, my best advice is to talk to someone about it sooner rather than later. For me, it was a secret for so long that by time I actually started talking about it, I was completely dependent on alcohol. This only made the mountain I had to climb significantly higher.
And remember, as long as your doing all you can to beat it, alcohol addiction doesn’t mean your weak and you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Thank you so much for reading, Toby .
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