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, it’s still an important part of a relationship, especially if our past plays an important part in our present. I know from experience that it’s not always easy to share a difficult past, but it’s probably the more reason to share it with the people you want to be closer to.
Being that I’m a recovering addict, it’s 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. It’s funny how I don’t have a problem talking about it on my blog, 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 the fear rejection and how being anonymous lessens that possibility. It’s different when the rejection comes from someone we care about.
Now that I’ve established that it’s important to share my past addictions with people I care about I’m faced with a whole new set of questions. Should I tell them right away or is it OK to wait? How long can I wait after meeting someone before mentioning my past? It’s difficult enough starting the conversation and finding 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. I sooo don’t feel comfortable telling a guy that on a first date. He would probably run away if I told him before he has a chance to know me. I’ll usually tell them once I trust them, but I’m worried about waiting too long and then they ask 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. We need to trust they 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 than 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.