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Session 16: Coming Out All Over Again: Reconstructing Your Identity

When you first start sharing that you are a gay or bisexual man recovering from crystal use, it can make you feel very vulnerable. Although you are doing this with people with whom you are clo such as friends, lovers, and family your crystal use can feel like a big dark secret or a huge wall

between you and these people in your life.

This process of disclosing your crystal use can feel just like coming out as a gay or bisexual man, or as an HIV­positive man. It can be just as anxiety­ provoking to decide when and if to disclose your crystal use. You realize that it is important to extend your support system, to find people in your life who can be supportive with respect to who you truly are and to help reinforce a newer, healthier, and more honest sense of yourself. Yet, when you are completely honest, you run the risk that someone might reject you. Today we're going to go through a process that is meant to help you recognize some of the strengths and tools that you already have for dealing with negative reactions that you may come to face.

First, who have you told about your crystal use so far?

Parents

Partner/Spouse

Brothers/Sisters

Other Family/Friends

Sexual Partners

Crystal­using Friends

Priest/Minister/Rabbi

Distant Family/Friends

HIV Care Professionals

Others

Therapist

Doctor

Employer

When telling these people, what kinds of reactions did you anticipate? What kind of reactions did you actually get?

Session 16: Coming Out All Over Again: Reconstructing Your Identity

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