When Should You Tell Someone You’re in Recovery?

You’ve begun to date someone new. You started a new job. You’ve made a new friend in the neighborhood, at the gym, or at school pick-up. Does everyone need to know you’re in recovery? If so, when is the right time to tell them?

Telling the Person You’re Dating

When you’ve made a potential love connection, you want to show that person the best parts of yourself. While your sober journey is something to be celebrated, revealing too soon that you’re in recovery can make you feel vulnerable and be daunting to the person you’re dating. On the flip side, waiting too long to share this information could be interpreted as deception.

It isn’t necessary to share every detail about the depths of your addiction and recovery, at least not immediately. When you are ready to tell the person you’re seeing, be brief, be honest, expect questions, and lower your expectations. Remember that you get to decide what you share and what you need to reveal or keep close to protect yourself. You have no control over how the other person will react to this information—but their reaction will tell you a lot about whether they are the right person for you to be dating.

Telling a Coworker or Colleague

The workplace is all about boundaries. This environment is not always the best place to share personal details about any part of your life, be it sobriety, divorce, love, or otherwise. The ups and downs of your health and wellness journey can jeopardize your relationship with your boss, coworkers, and clients, and you could feel stigmatized or unfairly branded.

If you have taken time off from your job in order to complete luxury rehab, your colleagues will already have theories about your absence. It is not your responsibility to share personal details to get them off your trail. And do not feel obligated to share just to avoid feeling embarrassed or self-conscious about your time in holistic rehab.

Telling an Acquaintance

When you form a fast friendship with someone, it can be tempting to spill your deepest secrets to forge a closer relationship. Connecting with another adult isn’t always easy and finding a kindred spirit can feel like a gift. You may want to nurture that relationship by sharing your sobriety journey, but you’re still getting to know the other person. How much time will you really be spending together? How much do they need to know about who you are?

If you’re friends by proximity because you spend time together in the carpool line or the locker room, do you trust you’ll remain friends, that they would never use your addiction history against you, that they could be a valuable part of your support team?

It will be necessary to consider each acquaintance separately. Some people in recovery are proud to boast about their sobriety with everyone as soon as possible. Others decide that sharing this information up front helps gauge a person’s level of trustworthiness. There is no right or wrong time to share – there is only what’s right for you.

Why You Should Share This Information

When someone you’re spending time with doesn’t know you’re in recovery, it can be difficult to dodge an invitation to get drinks or go to a party. Meeting up at a bar or for happy hour could mean something very different to both of you. When you’re living a lifestyle that avoids temptations, it’s important to let those around you aware of these triggers too so they don’t put you in harm’s way.

When You Shouldn’t Share This Information

Your recovery does not define you. It is an arm of you, and certainly a major part of your life story, but addiction and sobriety are not the only things that make you who you are. It’s important to listen to your gut when you’re considering sharing your sobriety journey with another person.

Not everyone is openminded and nonjudgmental. Knowing this very personal information about you could negatively cloud someone’s consideration of you. What’s most important is knowing that you can’t control another person’s reaction to your sobriety.

If you are wary about how a person may respond to this news, it’s important to question whether they are the best person to know your story at all, and whether they should be in your life. The people who support your journey and accept you for who you are, ultimately, are the best people to have around you.

You Are in Charge of Your Recovery

Awareness about sobriety, holistic rehab, and recovery is greater than it has ever been, but there is still a stigma surrounding addiction. Sharing your personal journey is not a requirement of recovery. Every reveal should be considered carefully on a case-by-case basis so that you feel confident about your decisions and never lose sight of your sobriety. While you want to prioritize the most important relationships, you want to avoid making poor choices just to keep someone in your life.

Get the ongoing support you need in recovery from the therapeutic team at Beachside Rehab. Contact our trained admissions counselors at 866-349-1770 to discuss your individual needs and how luxury rehab can work for you.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash