Roc & Doc: “Please Convince My Wife…”

Overconfidence in Early Recovery

Let’s talk about the potential for overconfidence in early recovery. It’s not uncommon for people in early recovery to want the world to know that they’re doing well. Maybe it’s their boss. Perhaps it’s a group of friends. And almost always, they want immediate family members to know that the days of their drinking or using are long gone. That was then, this is now. You are a new man or woman. Everyone can finally relax because you got this.

But loved ones aren’t always so quickly convinced. They need time and actions to rebuild the confidence they once had.   

One viewer in very early recovery writes in and asks Roc & Doc to please convince his wife that he’s all better now. He completed 28 days in an inpatient facility and has sworn off alcohol for good. He says, “I’ll never drink again… can you please convince my wife that I’m okay and that I don’t need to continue on in outpatient continuing care.”

Of course, there are several issues raised here. The first is one of what some call “overconfidence in early recovery.” The idea is that people early on are having a “pink cloud” experience. Everything is going well, they feel great. They have a great deal of personal confidence that all is well.

But how well a person’s recovery is going isn’t usually tested when things seem great. The true quality of a person’s recovery is established when troubles come.

Roc & Doc believe, as do most addiction treatment professionals, that it takes time and actions over time to re-establish trust and resume confidence. They cannot convince loved ones any more than the person in recovery can. And that takes time and solid actions.

There is an acronym that is often used in this scenario. TIME: Trust I Must Earn. Just as it took time to establish that there was a problem, it often takes even more time to establish that the solution is in full working order. The solution, of course, is a lifestyle of recovery. And the quality of a person’s recovery is almost never established until much time passes — and especially endurance through difficult times.  


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