Common Fears During Recovery And How To Get Past Them

Common Fears about Recovery and How to Get Past Them

Being scared about entering an addiction recovery program is normal. It is common that people are hesitant and apprehensive about entering rehab.

Let’s face it, it can be very confronting to admit a problem with substance abuse, let alone taking the steps to learn to live without it in your life.

Here are some common fears and barriers experienced by addicts and how you can get past them.

Detox and withdrawal from the substance of addiction

Many addicts worry about what will happen to them when they try to withdraw from an addictive substance.

This may be based on previous attempts to withdraw from the substance, where they have experienced unpleasant and severe side effects and wish to avoid a repeat performance. 

Depending on the substance of addiction and the length of addiction, a medically supervised withdrawal period is often the best option.

Whilst an addiction sufferer will experience withdrawal symptoms, the benefit is that they are medically supervised and supported throughout the process.

Good treatment programs also help clients deal with the psychological aspects of withdrawing, providing them with tools, tricks and guidance to help them stay on track.

Loss of identity and building new connections

Often an addiction sufferer will fear losing their identity without having the addictive substance by their side.

Often a sufferer’s social connections will revolve around procurement, and use of an addictive substance. They may feel like they are losing their friendship circles.

If an addiction has its roots in feeling vulnerable, shy or socially awkward, it can be confronting for a sufferer to face these feelings for the first time without the masking effect of drugs.

Treatment programs help address these fears and feelings as addiction sufferers begin to discover who they really are without drugs and alcohol in their life.

Rehabilitation offers sufferers a chance to create a new beginning as they learn to understand, nurture and love their drug free selves.

As for losing “friends”, it is true that a recovering addict will leave many of them behind with the abused substance.

However, rehabilitation and attending meetings such as NA and AA provide addicts in recovery with a supportive, therapeutic community.

Importantly, strong bonds and friendships can be forged within a fellowship, especially as there is a deeper understanding of how one suffers in addiction and there is mutual support in staying clean, healthy and sober.

No more fun

In the simplest of terms, long term substance addiction, alters the pathways in the brain that allow you to experience pleasure. Heavy drug use has the effect of ‘burning out’ those pathways.

Therefore, it’s important for a recovering addict to understand that they may not experience heightened emotions for months as the brain begins to repair itself.

The repair process can be assisted by practices that incorporate gratitude into a recovering addict’s life.

Such practices include guided meditations, yoga and attending group meetings. We encourage these practices both inside and outside of the rehabilitation program.

Facing up to the past

Sometimes a traumatic event can precipitate a fall into addiction.

Or it can be that an addict has done things that they’re less than proud of, such as lying and stealing to be able to continue their addiction.

In both scenarios, a structured recovery program provides an opportunity for a sufferer to look back on their past and make peace with it.

In the case of severe past trauma, we can provide expert counselling with a qualified psychologist and psychiatrist. 

Recovering addicts often report a sense of relief when they own up to their past actions, make amends and apologise.

Individual counselling, tailored to the recovering addict can also help heal, reframe, and make sense of past trauma.

Fear of failure

Many addicts in recovery fear that they’re going to fail.

After all, perhaps there have been several unsuccessful attempts to stop using before this particular attempt in recovery. 

While the statistics suggest that relapse can occur, our philosophy on recovery is that every time you attempt to recover is a chance that you give yourself to succeed – you cannot succeed without trying!

Most recovering addicts that adopt a “you get out what you put in” mantra in their recovery usually stay clean and sober.

You can read some successful addiction recovery stories here.

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