Recovery can seem like a scary thing. Especially for those who have never had the opportunity to experience it before. While active addiction can be debilitating, it is a lifestyle many become accustomed to. For most, change seems almost impossible.
Often times, the fear of addiction recovery is based upon a set of misguided opinions and beliefs. While some of these misconceptions are stereotypes formed by those who have never walked in the shoes of a recovering person, many times it is merely contempt prior to investigation. It is like saying a person doesn’t like seafood, yet they have never actually tried it.
Regardless, the myths and misconceptions surrounding recovery only feed the stigma further, keeping more people from getting the help they need. Today, we would like to shed light on some of those myths, and offer some insight into what sobriety is all about.
1. Recovery Is Boring
This misconception is probably one of the most common, especially for young people. Often times, addicts in their late teens and early twenties will avoid getting sober, because they believe they will never have fun again. Surprisingly enough, it is actually the opposite.
Yes, maybe when you first started using drugs and alcohol it was fun. Why else would you continue to do it, right? The truth is, those “fun” times fade pretty quickly, especially as the disease of addiction progresses. In the end, feeding the habit becomes a full time job and many are left with nothing; no friends; no family; no fun.
Initially, getting sober is hard work. But, it isn’t about sitting in church basements and drinking bad coffee. As time goes on, you will find that recovery affords you a life that you could never have while using drugs and alcohol. As you build relationships with other recovering people, many opportunities will present themselves. You will begin to find out what you actually enjoy doing. Whether it be going to concerts, skydiving, going to the beach, hiking, or skiing, the sky’s the limit. Anything is possible when you are sober.
2. You Have To Be Religious To Get Sober
This is another common misconception about sobriety, and one that sends many running for the hills. But, it could not be further from the truth. 12-step programs are not religious-based, but instead, spiritually-based. What does that mean exactly? We’ll tell you.
You are not required to believe in Jesus, Buddha, Allah, or any other god worshipped in religion. The program only asks that you eventually become to believe in something greater than yourself. It could be anything; nature; the program itself. It simply cannot be yourself. Why?
As addicts and alcoholics, we have proven that when we rely solely on ourselves and our own thinking, we destroy our lives. It is only when we begin to ask for help from others and trust in the process, that we get better.
And, as you get better, you will begin to rebuild your morals and values. The way you think, behave, treat yourself and others will change. That is where spirituality takes place.
So no, you do not have to be religious. You only have to be spiritual.
3. If You Have Relapsed, You Are Doomed
Although relapse is not a requirement for addiction recovery, it is common for many people. Sometimes, it takes some addicts and alcoholics more than one attempt at getting sober. This does not mean you are doomed.
It is important to remember that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, as long as you keep getting back up.
4. Your Family Will Never Trust You Again
Some people believe that if they admit they need help to their families and friends that they’ll never be trusted again. The reality is that they already know or have had suspicions about your drug and alcohol use, and they have been waiting for this day. Secondly, they will only trust you more, if you got sober.
Yes, it will take some time to rebuild the trust within the family. As times goes on, they will see that you are making progress and changing your life for the better. Recovery will only enhance your relationships with family and friends.
5. You’ll Always Have To Avoid Places Where Alcohol Is Present
Changing people, places, and things in recovery is a major suggestion. Nevertheless, there will come a time when you will be secure enough in your sobriety, that you can go somewhere that alcohol is present. It may be a family get together, a friend’s wedding, or the office holiday party.
No matter the situation, the day will come where you can partake in these events again and not feel threatened by others’ drinking. As you progress through your sobriety, you will learn new ways to cope with situations and become more comfortable. You’ll learn techniques from other sober individuals, such as bringing along a sober friend, knowing what to say if someone offers you a drink, and having an escape route in place if you begin to feel the urge.
It is certainly NOT recommended to attempt to do these things without speaking with your sponsor and support group first. Also, you must learn and become comfortable with your limits. If you know you would not be able to resist a drink, you should not put yourself in a dicey situation.
6. You’ll Be All Alone
Entering into recovery can seem as though you are giving up everything you know and love. This can include those you used and drank with. Removing yourself from these people and situations can make you think that you are set out to spend a lifetime by yourself. That is simply not the case.
Yes, you will have to give up relationships that threaten your sobriety. In return, you will gain new friendships with people who are walking the same path as you. The program of recovery is a WE program. The entire institution of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous was built upon the belief that we only getting better, by helping another struggling individual.
You will be surprised to find that if you immerse yourself into the program, the friendships you make will be those of a lifetime.
Contact Clearbrook Today
Are you or someone you love struggling with alcoholism or chemical dependency? If so, we can help.
For 45 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing the highest quality of addiction treatment services to those suffering from substance abuse disorders. Secluded in the beautiful mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania, you will have the opportunity to begin your journey of sobriety in a peaceful and loving atmosphere.
If you are tired of being a slave to your disease, and want to know what recovery is all about, please contact our Admissions Specialists today.