Should You Share Your Recovery Story on Social Media?
03/04/19: Addiction Recovery
It can be difficult to share certain aspects of your private life online, especially something as personal as addiction. Many friends and family members may not have even been aware of your struggle. When you share your recovery story about substance abuse, you may open yourself up to be the possibility of damaging your reputation with coworkers and other followers.
For that reason, the decision to share your recovery on social media is not a decision to be taken lightly. If you are looking to track and share your story, consider creating social media accounts under a pen name. Under a pseudonym or simply an account not connected with your professional or personal networks, talking about recovery can be much easier. You may also find it liberating to talk about your recovery from a new account because as it is a clean break from your past - a new chapter from a new perspective.
It is also important to understand that regardless of what name you use or what approach you take, your recovery story is still valid. You have an opportunity to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, provide a first-person account of addiction, and help educate those who may not have ever truly contemplated what life is like for a person to go through rehabilitation.
Why Will You Share Your Recovery Story?
The motive behind your decision to open up about your substance abuse on social media matters. Many people turn to social networking sites for emotional validation. If this is your reason for sharing, make sure you make an honest assessment of using social media as your outlet and whether this is really the best avenue for emotional fulfillment.
While likes, shares, and engagement on social media might make us feel good temporarily, they do not hold any weight in our day-to-day lives. Relying heavily on social media for personal validation can also prevent you from truly living life to its fullest. Social media exists to bring people together, but it also provides a safety net that many people hide behind.
We often think of people "hiding" on social media as predators or liars. However, all of us use the internet to disguise ourselves to some extent. Social media protects us behind a digital curtain. Most users tend to share their only their best side online. When constantly looking at a carefully cultivated highlight reel of everyones’ good moments, it is easy to feel lonely, inferior and inadequate.
So before you share your recovery story online, determine your ‘why’ such as:
- Inspire others who are struggling with addiction
- Connect with others who are struggling with addiction
- Provide yourself a method of self-accountability
Try to avoid using social media for validation of your journey, garner sympathy, or seek acceptance from others. Social media is a wonderful platform to give unselfishly to others, but followers can quickly turn on you if asking for too much in return, potentially compounding the hurdles faced during recovery.
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How Much is Too Much?
The stigma around mental health and substance abuse leaves so many people suffering in silence. It may seem only acceptable to talk about depression or anxiety once you have overcome their grip. Individuals who open up about their present struggles may feel like as though they are complaining and can become susceptible to cyberbullying by misinformed, judgmental people.
Information disclosure on social media is tricky. The general rule of thumb is not to share anything you would not feel comfortable with someone knowing in real life. Although this is often easier said than done. Further, many people with mental illness, addiction and other problems have found solace on the internet by truly opening up.
Sharing your addiction story online can help you process your emotions and move forward. Yet doing so can also dredge up memories and feelings you may not be entirely ready to confront. You may also find constantly talking about substance abuse, even in the context of recovery, becomes a trigger itself and keeps you stuck in an addiction mindset. There is a lot more to you and your life than substance abuse and it is important to embrace those aspects alongside your recovery.
Take some time to sit with yourself and ask what you are trying to gain through social media and how much sharing you believe is comfortable. Setting initial goals and limits will temper over use and potentially negative reaction. Sharing your recovery online can definitely be cathartic, but share only when you feel you mentally equipped to discuss your experience and handle any criticism you may receive.
How to Get Started
If you have decided to take the plunge and share your recovery story online, consider starting small. Do not rush to post on Facebook or Twitter where all your friends, family and anyone else who follows you can give their two cents. Instead, check out some social media support groups for people in recovery.
For example, Sober Grid is an online community for people who want to meet other sober people locally or around the world. The app also offers 24/7 peer-counseling, so you can truly find a support system with people who understand what you're going through even if no one else around you seems to get it.
You might also want to consider talking to your counselors or therapist about whether or not it would be beneficial for you to use social media at any point in your recovery. Getting better takes time, and there are plenty of ways to integrate their recovery into their everyday lives. Social media is just one of them.
Finding a Treatment Center
Social media can become a part of your journey to recovery. Social media by itself should not be used as a way to self-diagnosis or treat your addiction. By working together with the empathetic professionals at Arizona Addiction, Arizona residents have access to world-class treatment programs and rehabilitation placements.
Drug and alcohol detox services are provided in upscale, comfortable, and confidential facilities. Treatment is also available for those suffering from mental health and process addictions such as gambling and sex. All families and sufferers receive ethical and honest answers to the difficult questions you may have.
When the time comes, we can assist with free placement services in the most recognized recovery options including inpatient and outpatient treatment, intervention, medical detox, sober living, sober coaching, and aftercare. If you or someone you love is suffering from an addiction, please contact your nearest rehabilitation center or Arizona Addiction.
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If you or someone you know needs help with addiction, contact 602-737-1619 or email email@example.com to get the help you need. Our acclaimed recovery environment merges upscale, luxury accommodations with affordability, clinical expertise and an unwavering commitment to patient care and aftercare.