Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sharing Past Addictions With New People

Relationships and making new friends usually requires us to share things about ourselves, and I believe that sharing our past is often the fastest way to get closer to someone. Although sharing our past isn't always necessary and some people manage without sharing, its still an important part of a relationship, specially if our past plays an important part in our present. I know from experience that it isn't always easy to share a past that was difficult but its probably the more reason to share it with the people you want to be close to.

Being that I'm a recovering addict, its not hard to imagine that I've dealt with this issue before and I'm assuming more recovering addicts out there have dealt with this too. Its funny how I don't have a problem talking about it on my blog or going on the radio to go talk about it (I went on CBC radio this week) but that's mostly because I'm somewhat anonymous. People don't know who I am and I don't know who they are. I'm guessing it all has to do with rejection and how being anonymous lessens that possibility. Its different when we fear rejection from someone we've actually started to care about.

Since I've already realized that its important to share my past addictions if I want to be closer with the person I've moved on to different types of questions. For example; Should I tell them right away or is it OK to wait? How long can I wait after meeting someone before mentioning my past ? Its still difficult to start the conversation and find the appropriate time but now I'm also trying to figure out if I have to tell them right away. I imagine I don't have to say anything right away but how much time do I have.

I guess it really depends on the depth of the relationship, how close we are and how close I want us to be. For me I usually tell a person once I trust them but what I'm worried about is waiting so long that the person asks why I didn't tell them sooner. What it really comes down to is being able to trust and being able to let people get close to us. Trusting the person will understand and not reject us because of our past. For me, this probably stems from the belief that I should be rejected for what I did. I don't know if this applies to anyone else but if it does accepting ourselves would be the first step in making it easier to talk about our past.

What I'm trying to say is we should accept ourselves and believe the people in our lives will do the same. Trust in ourselves and our judgement of people. People are more reasonable then we give them credit for and if they don't accept us and our past then we should be glad we found out who our true friends are. Remembering the people in our lives that already know our story and have accepted us can bring us strength when telling a new friend. Once we tell one person and realize that they still accept us will make telling the next person a little easier.