Sharing stories with others is part of recovery and is a healthy way to express yourself as you walk through what your story means to you. Telling your story can also be frightening if you have trouble opening up to others. It is a skill everyone should have if they want to stay sober. Find some tips for sharing the story in a way that honors you and your recovery community.
Getting into the nitty gritty of our stories is hard when we have to highlight the stuff we did for addiction. From beginning to end, our stories can even surprise ourselves. Keep in mind you must have an idea regarding which parts of your personal history are most important and which can be left out. Take notes, practice, and see how long it takes. You may run the risk otherwise of never getting past the story of your addiction.
A Time for All Things
Newcomers may decide that a program is nothing more than people telling tales and decide not to share. Just remember it is not about everything, it is about keeping it short and to the point. Most meetings begin with some readings, meditations, and a story which can go for about 30 minutes. This keeps you from telling too many stories and refines your focus on the most important parts of your personal story. You are honestly telling a story about recovery and addiction.
Emotional burdens are likely to have played a hand in your addiction but people don’t need a minute by minute playbook of it all. In detailing addictive past, you are focusing on aspects that most defined you. Find what is notable and how it relates to your personal experience of addiction. Without your past, you are not who you are now but don’t just stand there and say you took substances then quit. It goes deeper, but find a way to go deep enough without detailing too much.
When you begin telling your story, there is a way to approach it that will be helpful to the listeners in your group or people who are hearing this story:
- The first stretch includes how you first encountered drugs or alcohol and includes your sobriety date. Talk about how long you have been sober, the battles you faced, and how you have reached a point of acceptance of your past to this point.
- The structure of your story matters in terms of when you gave your life to sobriety. This one should be most natural for you as you share your story. It is impossible to tell this piece without including a moment of clarity when you realized what was happening. If your story includes relapse, then it may be a bit different but you can focus on why things are different now than they were before. Perhaps how you are embracing relapse prevention can be included here.
- Embrace tradition and focus on the connectivity you have to the recovery community. Talk about these things but do not boast. When discussing people you love or care about, focus on emotional stability you get from loved ones and partners, not romantic feelings. Focus on improving your concepts of relationships and how that differs from when you were in active addiction.
Your life is an example of success with addiction recovery. Even one day sober is successful. Play it up but don’t dwell on it so that others feel badly about their journey. Everyone has a story that is meant to be shared but finding a healthy, good way of doing that can be supportive of not only your story but others who are on the journey with you as well.
The Springboard Center’s addiction treatment programs are tailored to meet the needs of each client. By utilizing a set of diverse methods of addiction treatment, we are able to deal with your addiction from all angles and concentrate on every aspect of your healing process. It is important to recognize that many of our services offer a group setting and environment, so that the client spends time with other people affected by the same chronic disease and problems. 432-620-0255