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Visible recovery (aka visual recovery)

How Open Should We Be About Our Addiction Problems?

Hope Rehab Plane

by Simon Mott

“To be open about addiction and recovery”

I make it no secret that I am a recovering-addict. My life’s journey has had many ups and downs and being in recovery has been one of the highlights, so why hide it like a dirty secret?

NOTE: Speak to your sponsor or a trusted friend for advice about this issue. This subject should be treated with some Caution.

Sitting here on the terrace of Hope Rehab Center, overlooking Sriracha harbor, seems a far-cry from the hell I went through during my addiction. When I first started helping addicts in London, giving them clean syringes at the needle exchange, I had no idea where it would all lead. These days I live in Asia and run a treatment centre where we have helped thousands of addicts and alcoholics.

Hope Rehab Thailand Beach
Visible Recovery – How Open Should We Be About Our Addiction Problems?

My own addiction was spread over many years – it was extremely painful,I hurt a lot of people, and it nearly killed me. Thank God I survived and overcame my addiction. It took many attempts and has been hard work but most of the time recovery has been very rewarding.

I advocate being open about personal recovery from addiction. This is for both altruistic reasons and selfish reasons. You see people can only ask for help if they know you have found a solution yourself. Reservations about recovery can take hold, you see ‘secrets grow in the dark’ as we say. If we repress anything it could unconsciously negatively influence our decision making eventually. So being open helps prevent us backtracking and using again.


Anonymous = Without a Name

In the fellowships of AA and NA we only use our first names.

In AA we practice some anonymity in order that no member is treated better or less than another member. All walks of life attend AA and share equal responsibility for managing it – also alcoholism is a great leveler and humility keeps us well.

I needed a complete change of identity when I finally got clean and sober. I had a complete overhaul in the treatment Centre I attended – this was because my personality was defective and dysfunctional, but this is not the case today. So I am eternally grateful for recovery and feel I want to share it with the world.

Benefits from Being Open About Recovery;

  1. Self esteem increases
  2. Fear of being found out is lifted
  3. Honesty is an important ingredient of recovery
  4. Role model to others
  5. Pride about who we are
  6. Accountable to others who care
  7. Helping others in need
  8. Gratitude
  9. Reduces the risk of relapse

The Founders of AA, Bill W and Bob, were both visible with their recoveries and they saved many lives.

Recommended viewing is the movie called “the Anonymous people” an independent feature documentary about about people living in recovery from alcoholism and addiction. It is a grassroots social justice film depicting a conversation about USA’s number one health problem.


Visible Recovery – How Open Should We Be About Our Addiction Problems? By Simon Mott

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