Addiction Recovery

Being Open About Your Recovery


After treatment, you may be on the fence about whether you should share your drug & alcohol recovery with others or not. The Edge is here to help.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Addiction Recovery

January 13, 2022

After treatment, it can be odd to be open about your recovery. You may not know how people will react or treat you after you tell them.  

You may also feel odd not sharing about your recovery. Going through addiction treatment can be an integral moment of your life and part of your personality. Whatever you decide, the decision is incredibly personal, and there is no right or wrong answer. 

However, what should you know about being open about your recovery? 

Why You Might Want to Keep It to Yourself 

There’s many reasons, situations, and circumstance that might make you want to keep the details of your recovery to yourself. This is perfectly understandable and is entirely up to you. Some reasons as to why you may want to keep your recovery on the down-low include: 

#1. Privacy 

One reason or circumstance you can run into is wanting to keep your privacy. Your recovery can be a deeply personal topic. You may not want to share it with every stranger who walks past you.  

Additionally, you may not want to share it with your boss or coworkers. With the exception of you and your trusted medical professionals, you’re under no obligation to share anything you don’t want to. 

#2. Avoiding Judgment 

One reason you may not share your story of recovery is to avoid unnecessary judgment. We all know caring too much about what others think can be harmful.  

Sometimes, we don’t want any comments or opinions from the peanut gallery. We may not give too much away to new friends, coworkers, and during the early stages of relationships. This is understandable for everyone, whether they’ve been through recovery or not.  

People need time to open up to others and feel out how they will react. If you’re still unsure about navigating the waters, a good rule of thumb is to share personal information at the same rate as those you’re interacting with. 

Telling Others About Your Recovery 

After overcoming all the trials and tribulations of treatment and sober living, you may be ready to scream at the heavens about your recovery. This is perfectly understandable; you should be proud and excited. However, some tips you can keep in mind when telling others about your recovery include:  

#1. Develop an ‘Elevator Pitch’ 

One of the ways to navigate the social waters of sobriety is to develop an “elevator pitch.” Just like how businesses create a concise statement to explain their business, you can do the same for your sobriety.  

You don’t have to overshare anything you don’t want to. Find a statement that works for you, so when you’re in a situation where you want to share or feel you have to, you can deliver it simply and concisely. 

#2. What to Do for Friends and Family 

Discussing your recovery with friends and family may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be equally confusing. It’s relatively straightforward with close friends and family who want the best for you, and they’ll be happy for you. 

However, with friends you used to party with, opening up about your recovery can be challenging. It’s recommended you distance yourself from these people and their behaviors. If you find yourself having to explain yourself, be firm on your resolve and own your changes. 

Family situations can be equally messy. However, they probably knew about your recovery and were involved in the treatment process to varying degrees. For your extended family, it will be up to you if you would like to share with them or not. 

#3. Intimate Relationships 

Many treatment programs recommend you stay out of intimate relationships for at least a year during your recovery. This recommendation is for a good reason. However, there are tips to keep in mind, whether you’re multiple years into recovery or in the early days. 

During the early dating stage of relationships, you probably don’t have to bring up your sobriety or recovery. As things progress, though, drinks or something of the sort may get brought up or suggested. If this keeps coming up, saying something early may be better than waiting. This is where your “elevator pitch” can come in handy. 

Keep in mind; all good relationships are built on trust and communication. In long-term, intimate relationships, it’s better to be honest and forthcoming. Always let your partner know your sobriety is your top priority.  

So, Should You Tell People About Your Recovery? 

Unfortunately, we can’t answer that for you. The decision to tell people or specific individuals is incredibly personal and up to you.There’s no right or wrong answer.  

Remember, you don’t have to give every detail, and you can take as long as you want to open up about your journey. As the saying goes, “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” 

Going through treatment and starting your recovery journey is incredibly personal. During treatment, you go through life-changing experiences and learn more about yourself than you could’ve ever imagined. While living sober, you experience much the same while managing your day-to-day life. Because of this, it may be confusing to be open about your recovery or not. 

At The Edge Treatment Center, we want to get you to the place where you can decide to be honest about your recovery. We want to go through the journey with you and support you along the way. Through various therapies, we provide our clients with the emotional skills to be open about their recovery or not. If you or a loved one would like to take the first step to recovery, call (800) 778-1772.

CTA background

We’re Here to Help You Find Your Way

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.