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A lot has changed since you had an active addiction. You have probably worked really hard on your mental health, trauma, and thought patterns. You may be exploring new activities now, or hobbies that you never expected to enjoy. Maybe you are pursuing your education or a new job that used to be out of reach due to your addiction. It was probably a scary, sometimes stressful, process working through your addiction. 

As so many changes, you may find that some things do not change as easily. As time passes you may find that you still have issues to work on and work through and traits about yourself to strengthen. One habit that a lot of people continue to need to work on is that of secrecy. As a person with an active addiction, you probably found that you had many secrets. You kept your addiction secret–where you went and who you saw–from certain people in your life. It probably became second nature to hide things and keep secrets. Secrets probably then became lies, and those lies trapped and strained relationships. Having a lot of secrecy can be harmful to most relationships. For most people, being honest and open is something to work on and improve as you journey through recovery. Here are a few simple ways you can begin to work on being less secretive and more open to those close to you. 

Create a Strong Support Circle 

One way to fight the habit of secrecy is to build a strong support circle. Having support is so important to working through recovery. We all need to feel as if we have someone to talk to, someone to turn to when we feel like we are struggling; someone who we feel does not judge us. When we feel unconditional support it will be easier to open up to them. We do not feel like we need to keep secrets or hide things when we know the person is not going to judge us or the situation. We all need support sometimes, and there is nothing to feel ashamed about when we turn to our loved ones for that support. They want to be there for us and help us in any way that they can.

If you are unsure who should be included in your support system, consider who you feel most comfortable with. Do not only consider the length of time you have known someone. You may have known someone for ten years, but you feel more comfortable with a person you met only a few months ago. Think about who you could call at 3 A.M. if you find yourself in a situation you need to talk through. Consider who you can tell your innermost thoughts to. If you can do all that, then that person is probably someone you could trust to consider part of your support system. 

Write It Out 

Sometimes we may find it simply hard to talk about our struggles. We may be able to talk with a therapist and go through treatment successfully; however, when it comes to speaking with our loved ones, we struggle. Maybe we don’t want to be a burden or worry them. Maybe we are still embarrassed by our thoughts, temptations, or actions. One way we can begin to overcome this struggle is to write our thoughts down and share those thoughts with people we consider part of our support system. If you have a bad day and can’t get yourself to talk about it with your loved ones, write it out and send it to them. Once they know the situation, your feelings, and your struggles, you will probably feel more comfortable talking to them and telling them about the situation in more detail. 

You can also use this as a journal to help you bring up topics and situations with your mental health professional. The more you are willing to share, the better your therapist can understand what you are feeling and going through. If we find ourselves being secretive and not fully explaining situations or how we are feeling, this could impact our recovery journey. Even when we have been working with the same professional for quite a long time, they still need us to talk through our feelings and situations. They need to understand our thought processes and our reactions.

 Working through secrecy and being more upfront and honest will have positive impacts in many different areas of your life. If writing out your thoughts and feelings helps you to begin to open up, then that is a great first step. 

Keeping secrets is something we got very used to as we suffered from our addiction. Many things have changed since then. Secrecy, however, can be something that many people need to continue to work on. Creating a strong support system can help with feeling comfortable opening up. Others may benefit from writing down their feelings and thoughts. Understanding what works best for you is the key to success. As you learned in treatment and therapy, everyone is different and needs unique approaches. Sometimes we find that we just can’t figure out the best approach to take. Seeking help is important. At The Guest House, our professionals are ready to listen to your struggles and help you to work on the skills needed to work through those struggles. Regardless of where you are in the recovery process, we would love to hear from you. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you at (855) 483-7800.