Why the Fears Exist
Some recovering addicts are afraid to say that they are in recovery for alcohol or drug addiction. These fears can come into fruition for a variety of reasons; some of them include the following:
- judgment from relatives or friends
- desire to succeed in school
- fear of rejection from jobs
- societal pressures
For example, if you received harsh criticism and judgment from your relatives and friends when you were addicted, you may feel as though they don’t even want to hear about your recovery. On the other hand, you may worry what relatives and friends who don’t already know what happened would think of you if they found out.
You may also worry about judgment from your school or potential places of work. Whether you’re returning to a college program or entering one for the first time, you may imagine that the professors will think less of you if they discover that you are a recovering addict. Also, when you are applying for jobs, you might worry that employers will reject your application in the event that this information is available to them.
Anxiety can also arise from certain societal pressures. You may worry about sharing this information with new acquaintances because you’re afraid that they have been conditioned to stay away from addicts, whether they are currently addicted or recovering. Your fear may be that they lump all addicts into the same category and will fail to see you as an individual person.
Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid
Overcoming this fear can prove difficult, especially when you are trying to find a healthy routine that works for you and to engage in new activities and pursuits. However, a host of reason exists as to why you don’t have to harbor this fear anymore:
- True family and friends won’t judge you.
- Other people may have had similar struggles.
- Societal expectations are changing.
If your loved ones reject you because you have sought help, they are not true relatives and friends. The only people who should be in your life are the ones who support your journey to recovery. Also, you may think that individuals, whether they are grandparents, teachers or bosses, don’t understand. However, it’s often difficult to know what other individuals have endured. Some of these people may have struggled with a drug addiction in the past, or they might have other important people in their live who have done so. In other words, people may be more empathetic than you think.
Furthermore, while change has been slow, societal expectations are changing in some ways. Many people have grown more accepting and learned that they cannot judge individuals based on stereotypes and preconceived notions.
When you’re struggling with this fear, remember that what you have done is good. You sought help, and you are on the way to full recovery if you aren’t already there. You don’t have to feel ashamed of this proud accomplishment.