Addiction happens in the best of families.  It is a disease that does not discriminate. The stigma about addiction makes it difficult for some people to ask for help. The disease also creates a secondary problem of keeping secrets, not just by the person using but sometimes also by the family.  And sometimes, keeping secrets become the way of relating to each other, it becomes a part of the person’s life.

Part of recovery is building trust back, and when keeping secrets becomes normalize in a person’s life, it takes time to unlearn. Working, to be honest in any relationship after a period of hiding information, lying, and keeping secrets always starts with breaking the silence. It is not about finding faults, it is about owning your part of the problem.

Melinda G. Drake, LCSW (CA, NY, & HI), LISW CP & AP (SC)

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