No one, it seems, wants to go to rehab. It is a necessity for many addicts, but not a choice that is easy to make. And it isn’t easy to follow through with that choice and go. One of the most important factors holding many people back from going to rehab is fear. Not all addicts will admit to it, but many of the worries, concerns, excuses and reasons for putting off rehab can be blamed on fear. Here are some of the most common fears about going to rehab and how to overcome them:
You have been using drugs or alcohol to cope with your feelings, and maybe even symptoms of mental illness. If you give them up you’ll have to face those emotions and find a new way to cope. That is a very scary prospect. If you have been abusing substances to tamp down feelings, you are in for a boatload of overwhelming emotions as you come clean. Get over your fear of being sober by facing it head on. Let yourself feel that fear and you are already on the path to getting comfortable with your uncomfortable emotions. Remember that you will have caring professionals to back you up as you take your first sober steps. You will not be left alone to fend for yourself; you will be guided to use new and healthy coping mechanisms.
Failing at Sobriety
Maybe you’re ready—you’re practically desperate—to get sober and to change your life. You want to get to rehab, you want the help, but you’re afraid that you’ll fail. The idea of getting sober in rehab only to relapse on the outside and find you can’t cut it sober in the real world is a frightening thought. What you should know is that almost all addicts seeking help have relapses. Most will stumble, but that doesn’t mean failure. It just means that you have to get up and try again. Working with a support group and a sponsor after you leave rehab is a great way to keep your sobriety intact.
Rejection From Loved Ones
Another common fear is rejection from friends and family. You may think that your loved ones will think less of you or not want to be around you. The truth is they probably already know you have a problem. And if they care about you, they will support your choice to get help. Make a commitment to go to rehab and to get sober and impress upon your loved ones that you will need their love and support. Your true friends will not let you down.
The fear of losing your personal identity is another reason you may be resisting the idea of going to rehab. A common misconception of rehab is that by following the rules and going along with the program, you will be abandoning yourself and turning into a mindless drone. You will change in rehab, but only for the better. Find a facility that emphasizes developing individualized plans that meet your particular needs rather than a one-size-fits-all treatment program. Facing fears in any situation is difficult, but when it involves a life change it can be especially challenging. Face your fears, talk about them with your loved ones, and be prepared to work hard and to have setbacks. You will then be ready to enter rehab and live your new, sober life.