During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” This statement is also true of addiction treatment. Fear can stand in your way, but that is all it is. Consider the benefits of becoming sober and entering into recovery. Compare and contrast those benefits with your concerns surrounding getting help for your substance abuse. When you look at the positive versus the negative, honestly, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
Apprehension Regarding Treatment Is Normal
Fearing the unknown is very typical. Even for those who have participated in treatment previously, a new program can bring about many uncertainties. Will I make it through the program? Is there a program near me? What if I cannot afford the program? Will my insurance pay for it? What if I finish the program and then relapse? What if I fail altogether?
There are likely dozens of questions and worries surrounding treatment, and while this is normal, many of them are indeed irrational. How do you know if you can succeed without trying? If you are concerned about costs or accessibility, those are questions that the facility can answer upfront. It’s alright to be afraid, and it’s okay to have questions. The trick is not to let your fears stop you from getting help.
Overcoming the Fear of Being Healthy
Many people may be afraid to get healthy. Will you like yourself sober? Will others still like you when you are sober? Sobriety means changing, and change is difficult for many. Getting healthy means being accountable for your life, and that alone can be very scary. Maybe substance abuse is all you have known, and you think you won’t know how to live without being drunk or high.
Instead of fearing becoming sober and healthy, you can embrace this opportunity to create a new life for yourself—a life of peace and healing. Instead of giving in to fear, you can get excited by all of the unique experiences and opportunities that treatment and sobriety can bring you.
Barriers to Treatment Caused by Fears
When you let fear get in your way, you create barriers to getting healthy. Some of the concerns that can quickly stop you from moving forward in your life include:
- Fear of symptoms of withdrawal
- Fear of being sober
- Fear of relapse
- Costs of program
- Accessibility of facilities
- Fear of the stigma surrounding addiction
- Denial of having a problem
- Feeling inadequate
- Fear of being motivated to complete the program
If you write down all of your fears, you can address each one individually and find a solution to break down each crucial barrier. For example, many people are afraid of detox and withdrawal symptoms. Did you know that now there is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)? Using MAT can significantly lower symptoms and cravings. Learning more about treatment and a specific program can help ease your anxiety.
Education Can Replace Fear
The more you know about addiction treatment, the less you have to be afraid of. For example, learning about relapse prevention can help you overcome your fear of relapse. The more you know about preventing relapse, the less you have to worry about.
Education is empowering, and empowerment is the opposite of fear. Where fear can leave you frozen in your tracks, education allows you to move forward, often with great success. You can begin learning now, continue in treatment, and throughout your life in recovery. Never stop. Education is the perfect antidote for fear because it is infinite and empowering.
Accepting New Challenges With Self-Compassion
Self-compassion is healing in so many ways, particularly when facing the things you are afraid of most. Indulging in negative thinking is all too easy when you let the unknown and “what-ifs” take over your life. You can sit in your guilt, shame, blame, and fear, or you can offer yourself some compassion and rise to find your healing in treatment.
Leaving your worries behind, you can be open to the fact that your life matters. You matter, and your life has meaning and purpose. You can run from these new challenges, or you can accept them with self-compassion and face them head-on. As you address your insecurities, you can wipe them away with education and compassion for yourself. In doing so, you can step confidently into treatment and create a new life for yourself. After all, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
Fear regarding a new direction in your life is a normal human response, and addiction treatment is no different. There are so many barriers to getting help, but you can turn your trepidation into empowerment with education and self-compassion. At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we are happy to answer every question you have about our program and recovery. We have many years of experience within the addiction recovery field to provide compassionate, non-judgmental care. Our residential treatment program for women serves as a reprieve from the world, located in beautiful Costa Mesa, California, between the lovely flowing hills and the calming Pacific Ocean. Our program allows you to heal with trauma-informed therapists who understand the difficulties of beginning a treatment plan. You already have the tools inside you to achieve sobriety. We help you use them. Please get in touch with us today at (714) 581-3974 to learn more about our program.