"Hi, my name is Bob and I am an alcoholic". This is probably not something a recovering alcoholic is going to say at work. So how does a person reveal their alcoholism at their work place, if they so choose? This can be a touchy question, without a clear cut answer that works for everyone.

In my case, I have worked at the same place for over ten years - all ten of which have been alcohol free. I started with this company at about 6 months sober and did not know anyone there from my "drinking days". Perfect! A fresh start! Two weeks after I started, a woman was hired that I worked with at my first job out of college. She knew how I drank, but did not know that I had since quit. I did not mention anything to her for over a year. By this time, we had been to a few company functions and had probably noticed that I was no longer part of the crowd that got smashed and then went out for the party after the party. Around this time, she mentioned a guy that we both had worked with that was having a hard time with alcohol. This is when I revealed that I went to AA and was a recovering alcoholic. A short time later, she got a call from him after a week long binge. She called me and we got him into a treatment center. (He is still sober to this day. Another friend of ours from the same place, intentionally drank himself to death two weeks after I watched him drive by when we were supposed to meet at his place of employment to go to his first AA meeting. This is serious stuff that often times does not have a happy ending.)

The point of this story is that, you should let people know when you feel the time is right. You will know when this time is. For some people, they may never talk about it at work. Others may discuss it sooner than I did. Even though in a perfect world there should not be job related repercussions for being a recovering alcoholic, some employers or bosses may take a very dim view of this information and penalize an employee for it. Everyone needs to make these assessments before talking about their addiction at work.

Naturally, over time I have become friends with people at work. My past is no secret to these people, even though I do not openly discuss it with everyone at work. There currently is a woman at work who has sought my advice because her 40 something year old daughter is an active alcoholic. Her daughter went to a treatment center a few months ago, but went back to her old behavior soon after getting out. Her non-alcoholic Mom just can not understand this. Having been open with some of my coworkers, gives them a resource for information and understanding about addiction and recovery. I can also try to explain how an active alcoholic's behavior can not be explained by logic. Hurting yourself and those you love the most defies logic. Her daughter's actions are controlled by her disease. Any addict understands this, we have been there and done that.

To sum it up, each person that faces this dilemma need not worry about it. You will know when the time is right.