You’re early in recovery, and you’re starting to make new acquaintances in your changing lifestyle of sobriety. Perhaps these acquaintances are just potential friends and good company, or perhaps they are more than that, and in fact possible candidates for intimate relationships.
So what do you say to them about your present lot in life? How soon is too soon to address it? What if they are semi-aware, and begin to question you immediately? Should you provide a truthful account, or water it down a bit? And exactly how much do you want to disclose?
These are very difficult questions to answer. Today a member of my group therapy counseling shared an experience they recently had, in which they were burned by being up front and honest when grilled about their recovery. Should they have covered their tracks instead?
I tried to think about how I might handle this. As of February 4th, I will have been out of inpatient for one month. Living in my mother’s house with no driver’s license has pretty much restricted me to therapy, appointments, meetings, and family time (which I have no qualms about whatsoever).
My initial reaction to this quandary was to be “purposefully vague,” by disclosing just enough information to answer any questions that might come up, but never in too great of detail.
But as I spent time considering it further, I realized how much I do not want to engage in the practice of being “necessarily” deceitful. To do so would be to act precisely as I did while actively using – expect instead of hiding my use, I would be hiding my non-use. The thought became increasingly absurd, and I dismissed it without hesitation.
You see, the reason I would share a story riddled with holes is because I think I am somehow protecting myself from the judgment of an individual who may not quite be mature enough to reasonably consider all the implications of my state of being.
No; I will not minimize this huge part of my life, in fear of rejection. I am damn proud of the strides I’ve made in the past two months. Over my sober corpse will someone take that from me.
If I am to having a meaningful relationship with you, you will simply have to accept me for who I am, and love me anyway. If you can do that for me, I promise I can do the same for you.
Feels good, man.