For many active addicts, rehab can seem like a scary endeavor. Moreover, wanting to get clean and actually making the decision to do something about it can be extremely daunting, and this ambivalence is very common. The mind is being pulled in two different directions, and there is an ever-present dread of the unknown. It’s important to realize, however, that you don’t have to be in it 100%—you just have to take that first step, and mulling over it too much often serves to foster more fears and doubts.
If your desire to get sober isn’t enough to motivate you to go into residential treatment, you should take an inventory of your fears and how you can overcome them.
Common concerns include the following:
Withdrawal Is Going to Be Uncomfortable
You can (and probably should) choose to go to a rehab center with a detox program that will help make you feel comfortable and safe during the withdrawal period. You have the right to ask questions before choosing a rehab facility and remember that the worst part of withdrawal will be over with one week or less.
Generally speaking, medical detox is easier and less unpleasant than trying to do it alone, and relapse is effectively prevented as access to drugs or alcohol is not possible for the individual undergoing this process.
Fear of Being Alone
You will never be alone in rehab because you’ll be surrounded by medical and mental health providers who understand addiction and are there to help you through it. You’ll also be with other addicts who understand what you are going through. In fact, people tend to bond in rehab quickly because all they have is each other, and for this reason, you should never feel as if you are alone.
Not Knowing What Will Happen
First-timers to rehab often don’t know what to expect. But as noted, you have the right to ask questions. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The intake process
- The typical length of detox
- What is expected of you
- What the other people are like
- What the schedule is like
- What activities are available
- How much downtime you’ll have
- The number of breaks you get
- When meals are served
- When family and friends can visit
Having to Talk about All the Bad Stuff (And Feeling Guilty About It)
It’s vital to keep in mind that no one can ever force you to talk about things you don’t want to discuss. If you feel the need to address issues but don’t want to express them in a group setting, you can talk to an individual therapist or counselor. You probably will not resolve all of your issues before leaving rehab, and long-term aftercare is not only advised but often essential for this reason.
It is true that as drugs or alcohol wear off, you may start to feel ashamed or guilty for some of the things you did as an active addict. But this is with which therapy and counseling are designed to help you. You can discuss your feelings and know that others are feeling the same things. You have an illness, and you have made mistakes. The best way to atone for these mistakes is to get well and live the life you and your loved ones deserve.
Other Feelings Will Come to the Surface
Feelings suppressed with substance abuse are likely to re-emerge, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Feeling again may mean you have to process hurt, anger, or resentment, but you also get to feel happiness, hope, and love again. Some feelings may not be as desirable as others, but without the negative emotions, you can’t experience those that are positive.
You also have to remember that all feelings are based on your interpretation. For example, you can choose to perceive all emotions as serving some sort of purpose and, therefore, not entirely negative.
To stay clean and sober, you probably will have to stay away from those who continue to drink or use drugs. Realistically, however, most of those individuals may not be not real friends or acting in your best interests. Real friends will not let you hurt yourself by using drugs or drinking when it is obviously harmful to you. They may not be bad people, however, and they may really care about you, but they are also sick, and until they get better, as well, you need to stay away from them to maintain your sobriety.
If you make a move to enter recovery, you can make new friends who will care about you in a healthier way.
For a long time, the only enjoyment you got out of life mostly involved the use of drugs or alcohol. However, there are many other exciting things to do in life, and recovery can be an exciting time full of new experiences. You can engage in new activities that you enjoy, such as sports, painting, reading, movies, music, or any number of other things.
Lack of Willpower
One of the greatest things that you will learn about recovery is that it isn’t all about having willpower—you will discover that many other recovering addicts will be committing to helping you stay clean. And they will help you because helping you helps them stay clean as well. You don’t have to do it alone.
Also, note that willpower only has to happen moment by moment. For most addicts, staying sober forever feels impossible. But it can most definitely be achieved in the present. Not tomorrow, or next week, or next year. Just now.
Loss of Self-Identity
For years, an addict’s identity has probably revolved around being someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to the extent that it feels as if it’s become set in stone. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
People are able to re-discover and re-invent themselves. The use of substances doesn’t have to define who you are. This can be not only exciting but allow you to love yourself in a way you were never able to before.
Co-Occurring Mental Health Issues
It is vital to address any mental health disorders alongside addiction. Your substance abuse issues may have been a way of coping with an underlying mental health condition, but have also likely made it worse in the process. When you are seeking rehab, make sure they can treat your psychological issues in conjunction with your addiction. Fortunately, most modern, comprehensive, evidence-based programs will do this and understand it’s importance.
Conquer Your Fears
If you believe you need treatment but are afraid to go to rehab, we hope that this information will help you get alleviate some of your fears. If you have other concerns not listed here, ask others, especially those who are recovering addicts, a counselor, or a treatment center to help you reconcile them. Fear can be debilitating and keep you stuck in your addiction indefinitely, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can fight against them and find reasons to go to rehab instead of avoiding it.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
Just Believe Recovery and Just Believe Detox centers offer integrated treatment programs in both partial hospitalization and residential formats. We are dedicating to ensuring that those whom we treat receive all the tools and support they need to recover and enjoy long-lasting wellness and sobriety.
If you are ready to reclaim your life, free from substance abuse, we urge you to contact us today and find out how we can help!