If you enter programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or enroll in a sober living program with other people in recovery, you may eventually be faced with the task of sharing your recovery story. For some people, the prospect of doing this may be very scary and foreign. If you have trouble opening up to people or you’re not sure how, or even if you want to share your story, this blog is for you.
There are many great reasons to share your recovery story with others, even if you aren’t typically the type of person who chooses to share personal experiences with others.
4 Reasons to Share Your Recovery Story With Other Sober Living Home Residents
Research has proven that biographical storytelling provides many different benefits in the enhancement of chronic disease recovery.1 Here are four of the primary benefits of sharing your recovery story with others—especially those who are also recovering from addiction.
- Your recovery story holds power. Sharing difficult stories and life experiences with others make you a stronger person. The experience of telling your story helps you process and heal, and it can even begin to make your recovery from drug and alcohol addiction more real to yourself and all those around you.
- It gives other people hope. The act of sharing your story can give other people in recovery hope and remind them that they’re not alone in their struggles. If you are enrolled in an Austin transitional housing program, chances are, other Austin sober living home residents have dealt with (or are currently dealing with) some of the same struggles you have. This may be a unique opportunity for you to inspire others with your own story of facing and overcoming obstacles.
- It helps you build community. Being open, honest, and vulnerable with others promotes real and lasting connections. In sharing your recovery story with other sober living residents, you’ll begin to build relationships that are meaningful and mutually beneficial. Openly sharing thoughts and experiences in regards to your sobriety will also encourage accountability among yourself and those that you share with.
- It helps you find your own voice. According to one Psychology Today author, sharing personal experiences also empowers you to make sense of the things that have happened in your life and learn how to communicate those things to others.2 Sharing your recovery story with other sober living residents may also help you think about how all the experiences in your life have shaped who you are today and who you will continue to become.
How to Share Your Addiction Recovery Story
Sharing your addiction recovery story is not a required part of living in a Eudaimonia sober living home or enrolling in a transitional living program. However, if you do choose to share with the other sober living residents in your home, it is entirely up to you how you do it.
For those who would like a few recommendations on how to share, here are a few key suggestions. Just remember there are no steadfast rules for how, when or if you share. That’s up to you. These tips may just help you get started.
- Don’t be afraid to get personal. Being vulnerable is difficult, but it’s okay to share the honest truth about your life before, during, and after active addiction. One of our alumni shared a particularly painful moment when he used heroin in front of his mom out of desperation. The shame and disbelief he feels when talking about that moment does not keep him from sharing. Instead, he uses it as a way to illustrate what “rock bottom” looked like for him and how his life has changed since then.
- Be cautious not to get lost in the details. If you choose to share your story in a group meeting setting, just remember that you probably won’t have two hours to delve into the deep history of your childhood, despite the impact those childhood experiences had on your addiction. If you want to share all those details with another sober living resident, they may be better suited for a one-on-one conversation.
- If your family played a role in getting you into treatment, make sure to share that. Some people recovering from addiction may have only initially entered treatment at the urging of their family members or friends. Repairing damaged relationships after rehab can be difficult, so sharing your experience with family before and after rehab treatment may help encourage someone else to make amends with their loved ones too. If you’re sharing your story with someone who is still in active addiction, this may also help encourage them to listen to the concerns of their family members and enroll in a rehab or sober living program.
- Don’t skip over any relapses. If you’ve relapsed once or several times before, sharing what you learned from these experiences can be extremely valuable, especially for other sober living residents. Some people enrolled in a transitional housing program may find themselves struggling with lapses or full relapses at some point and may need to hear that it is possible to get back on track again.
- Be truthful about what life is like now. Life in recovery isn’t always flowers and sunshine. It’s difficult and it may not always be the sober life you envisioned for yourself. You don’t have to lie about being happy all the time or having everything figured out. Being truthful about your post-addiction experiences may help others who are also struggling with things like depression, anxiety, or who are struggling to re-define their new reality in sobriety.
Sharing your addiction recovery story with other Austin sober living residents is a powerful way to support and encourage others while also maintaining accountability in recovery. Call Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to learn more about our Austin sober living homes for men and women or check out this powerful story of addiction and recovery from one of our alumni members.