Tragically, many people struggling with addiction recognize the harm it has on their life, but allow fears about sobriety to hold them back from getting the help they need. Admitting to yourself and others can be frightening enough in and of itself, but you might also be afraid that you will no longer recognize or like yourself without substances overshadowing your life.
Fortunately, with the proper treatment, it’s possible to overcome these fears and learn to embrace sobriety as a decision that can change your life for the better. What are the most frequent fears people have surrounding recovery, and what is the reality behind them?
In many aspects of life, fear of failing holds us back from ever beginning to pursue our goals. However, when it comes to the disease of addiction, think about what will happen if you assume you won’t succeed. Your addiction will spiral further out of control, jeopardizing your relationships, your health, your career and even your life.
Even if you relapse into drug and alcohol use and need to undergo treatment again, that doesn’t mean you have failed. In many cases, relapsing is a natural part of the recovery process. Because addiction is a chronic disease, you can think of your sobriety journey as a form of remission from the illness. You are making progress, but treatment professionals have yet to discover a cure for addiction, which makes it a lifelong process.
2. The Unknown
Many people have been drinking or using drugs for so long that they can’t imagine their lives without these substances. Drugs and alcohol have become so wrapped up in their identity that they have trouble picturing what they’ll do or how they’ll manage life’s ups and downs in sobriety.
You may also be worried that you will seem drab or boring without drugs and alcohol lowering your inhibitions and making you more “fun” to be around. However, you will be amazed to discover that a sober version of you is a much better, more supportive and healthier friend, partner and relative.
3. The Stigma
The idea of facing the truth of your addiction can be a scary thought after years of denial about the extent of your problem. Unfortunately, our society still stigmatizes issues such as addiction and mental health disorders. What you need to understand, though, is that addiction is not a weakness, and it doesn’t define your entire life. If you find you aren’t comfortable talking to non-addicts about your reasons to remain sober, the only reason you need to give is that it’s a decision you have made for your health. Only the people closest to you need to know that you have been through a recovery program and emerged a better person on the other side.
4. Loss of Friends
It’s true that protecting your sobriety over the long term might require you to cut ties with some people who don’t respect your boundaries. You will also see some of your friends leave on their own once they realize your entire relationship was based solely on a shared fixation around drug and alcohol use. However, along the way, you will learn who your true supporters are. And, you’ll find that being sober will enable you to make much more meaningful connections beyond those intoxicated conversations at the bar or at parties.
Say No to Your Fears
If addiction has taken over your life, you must overcome your fears and seek professional treatment as soon as possible, before your problems add up and cause you to lose it all. If you feel like you have nowhere else to turn for help, contact us at Canyon Crossing for women’s-only recovery services.