How to React When Friends and New Acquaintances Just Don’t Get It

If you’ve ever let someone in on your experience with addiction and recovery you may have received any number of reactions. Surprisingly, many people simply don’t understand. If you’ve ever shared your experiences only to find out that the person was either completely unaware of what you’ve been through or innocently misinformed, you’re not alone. 

While in the best of situations you can expect the other person’s love, support, and kindness, you may have been caught off guard when the person made assumptions that were disillusioned. From comments like, “But when you did drink, what was your favorite cocktail?” to “That’s great, so you’re ready to come out with us for drinks this weekend?” friends, family, or coworkers can simply not have the insight or knowledge of etiquette regarding addiction or recovery. 

So, if you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of some odd comments, what did you do? Depending on who this person is to you, you may want to have a deeper conversation with them, if the relationship is important to you. If it’s not, you may want to let go of this person altogether. The choice is up to you. However you go about it, try not to feel too upset about someone’s reaction. Some people just need to have a healthy conversation about addiction and recovery as a process and how they can better support you, no matter where you are in your recovery journey. 

More often than not, people’s comments come from ignorance, not malice. If you are truly committed to sharing your recovery and spreading awareness, you’ll know the right things to say depending on the situation. Whatever you do, don’t let it get you down, you’ve got an awesome accomplishment to be proud of so be proud and feel empowered!

N.D. “Why Non-Addicts Often Misunderstand the Concept of Recovery”. Narconon. (Website). 2017
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