A large percentage of people in active addiction find the thought of going to rehab uncomfortable, unsettling – even downright terrifying.
If you’ve never been addicted and are an outsider looking in, this may be difficult to understand. After all, when you go to an addiction treatment center, you get help, right? When you go to rehab you learn how to live life on life’s terms and gain new coping skills, right? When you go to get help and break free from your addiction, life gets better… right?
A very simplified answer to all of the above questions is “YES!” More specifically, however, the answers are more along the lines of:
“Yes, and it’s going to take hard work.”
“Yes, and in order to do so, you’re going to have to uncover feelings, emotions and fears that you’ve buried under drugs and alcohol.”
“Yes, and in order to make it work, you’re going to have to keep working your recovery even after you leave rehab.”
Simply going to rehab for drug or alcohol addiction isn’t a cure all for all of life’s problems. Going to rehab, and putting in the work, however, does give you the skills and tools to understand and deal with problems, trauma, relationships, jobs, behavioral health issues, financial troubles and more. Getting treatment for addiction is about finding a balanced life – and because uprooting and re-routing your life can be overwhelming, many people find themselves scared to seek and maintain recovery.
Below are some of the most common fears people have about recovery – and the reality of those fears once they’re addressed:
- Withdrawal Is Going To Be Painful.
The fear of withdrawal can be overwhelming for anyone who is actively addicted and knows what they’ve felt like when they couldn’t get their drug of choice.
If you fear the pain of withdrawal, make sure to talk to your inpatient treatment facility contacts about their detox unit. Find out if there is a medical staff that will monitor and treat you according to your symptoms. Ask if you will receive medications to make you more comfortable. Find out what type of things will be provided to distract you from the discomfort: Can you watch TV or read books while detoxing?
Withdrawing from drugs or alcohol won’t be easy physically or mentally, but the good news is that the worst part of withdrawals last only a few days – and you’ll have the care of nurses and medical staff who know, understand and can help treat the pain of what you’re going through.
- I Don’t Know What Will Happen At Rehab.
Leaving your home environment to go to inpatient drug rehab can be nerve racking if you have no idea what to expect. If not knowing what will be asked of you and what you’ll be doing at rehab makes you nervous, there’s actually a pretty easy solution:
Contact your rehab facility before leaving. Treatment specialists should be able to detail many of the processes including:
- Medical detox length and practice
- What type of food you’ll be provided in inpatient rehab – and what times you’ll be eating
- What will be expected of you in treatment
- What the living quarters/bedrooms look like at the rehab facility
- What type of outings or activities you’ll be a part of
- How much downtime you’ll have at rehab
- When family can visit
- Any other questions you may have, including this list.
- I Don’t Know Anyone There. I Don’t Want To Be Alone.
Saying goodbye to friends and family to go to rehab isn’t easy – especially when you don’t know anyone there. At an inpatient treatment facility, however, you’ll be immersed in a setting with other people who truly understand what you’ve gone through and what you’re going through now. You’ll be surrounded by a caring staff who will help you through it, and listen to you when you’re frustrated or sad or overwhelmed. You’ll meet other people who are working through pains and struggles you may be facing as well.
Often times, because you rely on one another, people make some of the closest friends of their lives in rehab.
- I’ll Have To Talk About The Bad Things I’ve Done.
There are probably things buried deep within that you that you’ve done in your active addiction and dread sharing with anyone.
This is a common fear – however, no one will force you to talk about things that you don’t want to talk about. In inpatient rehab, if you feel the need to share something but don’t feel comfortable talking about it in a group setting, you can open up to an individual therapist, counselor or life coach one-on-one.
Remember, going to rehab is only the beginning of your recovery; You don’t have to solve all of your problems before going home. Ask your counselor or therapist to assist you in arranging aftercare for an ongoing treatment plan. You’ll be able to continue working on your life long after you leave rehab.
- I’ll Feel Guilty.
As drugs and alcohol leave your body and you break free of the numbness – you will start to feel again. One of those feelings may be guilt.
The good news is because you’ll have access to counselors and therapists and recovery coaches – one of the best places to experience guilt is in rehab. You’ll have an outlet to talk about your feelings and connect with others who may also be experiencing guilt. It’s important for you to realize while in treatment that you did certain things in your addiction because you weren’t well, not because you are a bad person or have moral failings.
In rehab, you’ll learn how to get better, rebuild your life and become a productive member of society again – and that’s one of the best ways to conquer guilt and move forward from past mistakes.
Fear can be debilitating – and in the case of addiction, it can be dangerous. When you complete treatment, get on a stable path to recovery and begin living a balanced life, you’ll look back on your previous fears and realize, it was all worth it.