When you were using drugs, did you talk to your using friends about your deepest secrets or problems? Or did you just “shut down” and get high?
Most likely, you chose the latter option. After all, most people who use drugs or alcohol to excess are using drugs to relax or “feel good”. Most people who have a substance use disorder can point to times where they were unhappy or upset. But the coping mechanism that they chose to deal with these emotions was simply using more of their favorite substance. Using drugs and alcohol is a way to escape negative emotions, but it’s not a way to cope with them or make them go away in the long-term.
Sharing Your Feelings
In recovery, a lot of time is spent on sharing. Whether you’re in a therapy group or on the phone with your sponsor, being open about how you feel and exploring why you feel that way is a big part of the journey.
Sharing is important because when you were using drugs and alcohol, you kept many secrets and you probably kept your emotions to yourself. Addiction is lonely and painful. Recovery is about having a support network that accepts you no matter where you are in the journey to wellness. Learning to trust others will help you also learn to trust yourself again, when you’re ready.
Sharing may be uncomfortable to you at first. This is why you’re usually told to just listen when you start going to 12-step meetings. By focusing on listening, you can start to identify with other people and their emotions or struggles. You’ll also hear stories of triumph and recovery to help inspire you.
When you first are called on in a group or meeting, you may feel like you have nothing to share with anyone. Stick with your “gut” feelings, and ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to share your whole life in a meeting, but sharing where you’re at and your current struggles can help people get to know you and help you start to open up to others.
Sharing Your Secrets
As stated before, you’re not going to have to share your entire life story in meetings or groups. Some stories are not for a wide audience but your secrets may be a cause of distress for you. This is why it’s so important to find a sponsor to help you work the steps and create a new way of life.
Sharing your secrets can be scary at first. You may have done things that make you ashamed of yourself, such as stealing from friends or hurting people you love. If you’re not comfortable sharing these thoughts or feelings with a group, you don’t have to. But sharing them with a sponsor or therapist when they come up can help you lessen your burden. When you’re ready, you’ll write a lot of these secrets down in your fourth step and share them with your sponsor. But the important thing is that you don’t have to share your secrets today. All things will come in good time as long as you continue to stay sober.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction is an insidious disease that can play tricks on you. You don’t have to fight it alone and you don’t have to face it alone. Learn to surrender to recovery in a healing, professional environment. Give us a call today at 1-877-228-2401 to start the journey to recovery. We’re here for you!