Why Sharing Our Addiction Stories is Important
Recently my opinion was challenged in a live interview. And I’m so glad it was.
A viewer asked a question about how to approach her husband about his drinking problem. My response was that I’m not a fan of interventions, ultimatums, or tough love. A person who is drinking problematically is a person in pain. What they need, I said, is love, connection and support from you, not threats of disconnection which will only serve to isolate them and push them further into their problem.
But the host disagreed. She didn’t believe this gentle approach would’ve helped her when she was in active addiction.
Her addiction and recovery story involved a harsh ultimatum. Her parents told her it was rehab, or she’d be out on the streets. She chose rehab to appease her parents but had no intention of staying sober. Last night she recounted her story with 12-years’ sobriety under her belt. The ultimatum worked!
Why I was grateful to have my opinion challenged is because it highlighted the fact that there is no one size fits all when it comes to addiction recovery. Every single person who quits an addictive substance and remains sober has a unique tale to tell. From those who self-initiate sobriety with no one ever pulling them aside to have a quiet word about their drinking (like me), to those who are forced into rehab against their will (like the host). There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrongs’ when it comes to how someone gets sober. Similarly, there’s no magic bullet for how to stay sober either.
I’ve said many times that there are as many ways to get sober and happy as there are drinkers. It’s about choosing your own sober adventure, as Catherine Gray put it. And that’s why I believe that the more people who speak up about how they overcame their addictions, the better. Those who are still in the horrors need to hear from people who have come out the other side. Recovery stories give those who are still suffering hope, inspiration, and practical ideas to get out of the hellhole they’re in.
So, if you’re reading this and have overcome an addiction yourself, why not share your story on our blog? Tell us, how did you do it and what unfolded? Telling your story is cathartic and healing on so many levels – we highly recommend it! And we won’t reveal your identity (unless you’re comfortable for us to do so).
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org – we can’t wait to read your stories.