When you’re early in recovery, you may wonder how to talk to an addict and/or alcoholic who also deals with the same disease you do. It’s natural and normal for you as an addicted individual to feel uncomfortable about reaching out to other recovering individuals. You’re only going to get better by being authentic with others and communicating with sober individuals to see what they did to get where they are with their sobriety. Learning how to break the ice and work up the courage to speak to addicts and/or alcoholics when you’re in early recovery can be a valuable lesson to gain insight on.
How to Talk to An Addict and/or Alcoholic
Communicating with recovering individuals can involve more listening than speaking. When it comes to how to talk to an addict and/or alcoholic during early recovery, these two roles for communication are prominent. Listening is a vital part of communication because more can be gained when the information the other party is communicating gets relayed and fully comprehended. Afterward, a response can best be formulated when you pause and take time to think before reacting so the response can come from the heart. This is how true communication can ensue, which is important when addicts and alcoholics are particularly connecting on an authentic level about their common bond: their disease of addiction and/or alcoholism.
Shift your thinking and get out of the victim role
An addicted individual in early recovery may feel compelled to talk about their day with other addicts and/or alcoholics. When early in recovery, it’s common to unfortunately focus on the negative and play the victim. Instead of slipping into this mindset, you can redirect your thoughts by asking for help. You don’t have to list every area that went wrong when you share during a meeting. State you are struggling and need help but willing to take suggestions to get better.
Being mindful of love and tolerance
Having conversations with addicts and/or alcoholics can get complicated because addicted individuals are known for being overly sensitive. Whether they’ve been in recovery for a short or long period of time, it’s important to be conscious of treating them with dignity and respect. Pausing and considering how they would react can be a smart tactic for conversation. Consider the Golden Rule, which is where each person should do what they would want done to themselves.
Identify, don’t compare
Addicts and alcoholics shouldn’t compare themselves to others but should identify because although there are parts to each individuals stories that may sound extremely different, the feelings are truly similar due to the common bond behind the nature of their disease. The simple fact that addicted individuals are unable to stop the cycle of their addiction once having abused the initial first substance holds the foundation for an understanding amongst one another.
If you are wondering how to talk to an addict and/or alcoholic because you’re in early recovery for an addiction, don’t be nervous! Move beyond the fear. When you reach out, YOU are helping recovering individuals more than THEY are helping you.
If you feel like your friend is suffering from addiction, you are not alone. Contact us now on how you can get them the help they deserve.