Underneath alcoholism and drug addiction are two things. The first is selfishness. It is at the center of the disease and the core problem that needs to be addressed. Selfishness and self-seeking behaviors are the number one driving force for addiction. The second is fear; fear of many things. Fear of feeling, fear of judgment, fear of the unknown, and fear of change. These are just few examples of the things most alcoholics and addicts feel on a daily basis.
When it comes to seeking professional help for addictive diseases, those same fears, plus several others come into play. It is easy enough to say, “Get help, it’s available,” but often times, the addicted person is overcome with fear when considering rehab and recovery. In this article, we will discuss the fears that keep us or our loved one from going to rehab and what we can do to possibly change that.
Fear of Detox
Detoxing from drugs and/or alcohol is not an easy feat or pleasant experience for anyone. Many of us have been there ourselves, so we understand the fear behind needing to remove the chemicals from your system. Anywhere from 3 to 10 days, depending upon the circumstance and person, you feel terrible. Along with the variety of physical symptoms, anxiety and incessant obsessions and cravings fog your mind. It is something we wouldn’t wish upon our worst enemy.
Nevertheless, there is hope. Think of it this way. You’ve been using for how long? 6 months; 2 years; 10 years? You can’t expect to feel 100% overnight. We destroy our bodies for many, many years, so it will take time to feel better. Nevertheless, you can get through it. Here at Clearbrook, we have 24-hour medical supervision and utilize particular medications to ease the pain of withdrawal. You may also surprise yourself, realizing it’s not as bad as your mind would have you believe. No, it will not be easy, but what in life that’s worth anything is?
Fear of the Unknown
Never going to rehab and not knowing what to expect can be scary all on its own. “What are the people like; will my family be able to visit; is it like jail?” These are just a few thoughts that may run through the mind of a user considering rehab. Again, very understandable. Rehab is nothing like what you see in the movies (at least not typically). It is comprised of clinical, medical, and administrative departments all working toward one goal; helping you achieve and maintain sobriety. Usually, the day consists of therapeutic groups and educational programming, as well as individual work with a counselor. For more information on drug rehab, click here.
Fear of Change
Similar to the last fear, the fear of change has a lot to do with not knowing what to expect. Addicts and alcoholics are creatures of habit, doing the same thing over and over again for many years. Users get caught in the cycle of addiction, where their lives consists of two main things; using or finding ways and means to use more. Nevertheless, when you make the decision to go to rehab, you open yourself up to a life of change. In order to get better, the addicted person has to change almost everything. The task can seem nearly impossible. Changing behaviors, thinking, social circles, maybe even sometimes living situations and employment…it becomes so overwhelming.
The secret though, is that it does not need to be done all at once. Literally, one step at a time, things fall into place when we are doing the right thing. First we need to start with the obvious; the reason for seeking help in the first place. When we clean ourselves up and become willing to change, everything else will almost always work itself out.
Fear of Failure/Fear of Success
One may wonder how someone could ever be afraid of success. Well, it’s simple. What happens if you become successful and then lose it all? Now for many people, they would think that thought is self-defeating or just outright crazy. Nevertheless, that is the reality for many users. Their thinking can easily spiral into something detrimental in the matter of seconds. Many of us will even say to ourselves, “What’s the point of even trying? I’m a screw up. I’ve screwed up everything so far, and I would fail at this too.” Or, users will believe they don’t have a fighting chance, because they’ve been to rehab before and weren’t able to stay sober.
We understand these thoughts and feelings. Many of us have felt this way as well. Nonetheless, when we live a 24-hour, “one day at a time” kind of life, these thoughts move farther away from the forefront of our minds. Look at it this way: what’s the harm in trying? If you fail, then you are where you are at now, but if you succeed, well then you are given a life you never expected to have.
Fear of Losing What You Have
Many will turn away from the idea of entering rehab because they are afraid of losing the things they have. Those things can vary, but usually include, a job, school, family relationships, respect within their community (fear of judgement), and friendships. These are all valid fears. You may even believe that admitting you have a problem to your loved ones will come as a surprise to them. Usually, the only surprise is that you are finally asking for help.
The reality is, we are not as good at hiding our addictions as we think we are. More often than not, our family, friends, and maybe even co-workers and teachers know that something is wrong. Asking for help and going to rehab is usually a long time coming. As for jobs and school, there are many steps you can take to secure those things, such as speaking with an EAP or taking a leave of absence. As for family and friends, you will eventually lose them if you do not get help. As our disease progresses, it gets more difficult for them to deal with our behaviors. Without recovery and the treatment of your addictive diseases, the future is bleak at best.
Fear of Facing the Damage
A big part of getting and staying sober is eventually having to deal with the pain you caused people and the damage you created. In active addiction/alcoholism, it is easy to avoid and/or rationalize behaviors. Once the chemical is removed and your minds clear, it all comes flooding back; the money you stole, the time you missed grandma’s birthday, the run-ins with the law. Often times, users become filled with shame, guilt, and regret, so it’s no wonder why this step is so scary.
The upside? Again, taking it one step at a time. While some things need to be met head-on, others are not addressed until we get to the 9th step of our program (making amends). By that point, we have worked through the first 8 with our sponsor, have built a solid foundation, and have learned new tools to deal with our fear. In other words, don’t put the cart before the horse. The steps are in the order they are in for a reason. Do what you can for the present moment and the rest will follow.
Fear of Feeling
Along with fear, feelings or emotions are certainly one of the main causes behind drug and alcohol abuse. Those of us who use chemicals to escape, are typically trying to escape undesirable or uncomfortable feelings and emotions. So, the fear of having to deal with those feelings in recovery, is understandable to say the least.
For so long, you’ve numbed your emotions, making them almost nonexistent. Once you enter into a rehab setting and have the chemical removed from your body, those feelings can sometimes come back tenfold. While often difficult to manage alone, you have the ability to learn new coping skills and work through that emotional confusion in a safe and secluded environment. Our dedicated staff offers therapeutic tools to guide you into a life free from chemical dependency. You will learn that it is possible to handle life on life’s terms without having to abuse drugs or alcohol.
Clearbrook’s Addiction Rehab
Are you or someone you love struggling with the idea of reaching out for help? We understand the thought of change and asking for help can be terrifying. Nevertheless, recovery is possible. All you have to do is take the first step and call. Please allow us to help.
For more than 40 years, Clearbrook Treatment Centers has been providing quality drug and alcohol treatment to the addicted person. If you are ready to change your life, please contact our Admissions Specialists today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have regarding our services and programs.