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Recovering Addicts: Self-Disclosure in Dating - Last First Date | Last First Date

Recovering Addicts: Self-Disclosure in Dating

Posted by in communication skills in dating, first date success, love after 40 | 0 comments

self-disclosureThis guest post was written by recovering addict, Mel Black. I thought it was an important topic to cover, as many people who date are in recovery. Timing is everything in dating, especially when disclosing the more difficult things about ourselves. I hope you enjoy this article. Please leave a comment and let me know if this is something you’ve dealt with.

For someone in recovery for an addiction, there are many challenges to overcome. Going through withdrawal, recovering physical and mental health, and above all, staying clean, are difficult processes, and recovery is more a work in progress than a discrete event. During all of this, there’s one aspect that often gets pushed aside in favor of more immediate problems, but for a former addict who’s in the process of rebuilding their life, this particular issue comes into sharp focus pretty quickly. The problem of self-disclosure about addiction and recovery, how to tell others and when to tell them, is something that all recovering addicts will eventually wrestle with.

Recovering Addicts: Self-Disclosure in Dating

There’s a lot to think about with this, and it’s not just about telling people you already know: it’s also about whether to disclose the information to new friends, work colleagues, and romantic partners. For many people who are going through the recovery process, this is an intensely vulnerable time, and the prospect of telling people about the addiction makes them feel anxious and scared.

However, keeping the secret is an equally difficult prospect for many reasons.

For one thing, when the information is kept secret, it feels like a secret, and that can make it seem like a shameful thing that needs to be hidden, rather than a piece of personal information that you choose not to tell. Shame and secrets are fertile breeding grounds for addictive behavior, and can make it more difficult to stay clean and sober in the long-term. For some people, it’s also easier to resist alcohol or drugs when friends and family know you’re in recovery, and in that sense it can really help when they know what you’ve been through.

It’s your choice.

While there are reasons both for and against self-disclosure in dating, the most important thing is that to tell or not to tell should be entirely your choice. And just as important, it’s absolutely okay to tell some people and not others—after all, you’re disclosing highly personal information, and initially at least you may prefer to tell only people with whom you have close and trusting relationships.

For more insights into this subject, this article  is a great read. It’s written by a former addict who has some good advice for people who are working on this particular problem. 

 

 

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