Are you contemplating recovery but anxious about starting? If so, you’re not alone.
Any significant change can feel daunting at first, even a positive one. Many people who want to start the recovery process hesitate or put it off as they grapple with their conflicting feelings. While it may seem strange to those who haven’t had a substance use disorder (SUD), it’s common to experience anxiety, trepidation, or even fear when considering recovery.
Those feelings can come from many different places. You may have incorporated your substance use into your identity. You might feel reluctant to let go of or change that identity, even if it’s for the best.
It’s normal to be nervous when approaching the idea of recovery. This article will cover how to make peace with those feelings and move through them so you can start and complete your healing process.
The hardest part of getting started with recovery often comes from within. You might engage in negative self-talk or face mental barriers that keep you from pursuing what you want. Knowing how to respond to yourself when encountering these obstacles will help you strip them of their power.
Here are some common thoughts you might have about recovery and how to counter them:
It’s always scary to dive into something you haven’t done before. Recovery can seem like a nebulous process, and you might not know what will happen while it’s ongoing. It may feel easier to stay where you are rather than face the unknown.
The easiest way to combat this fear is to learn as much as you can about what happens during recovery. Do research online, contact recovery programs, and talk to friends and acquaintances about their experiences.
You may tell yourself that your SUD is your fault, and that you deserve to live with the consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone deserves the chance to heal and live a successful, healthy life.
Not only that, but you are more likely to heal the wounds that others may have received from your addiction. If you achieve sobriety, you’ll be better equipped to make up for the things you regret and to move forward from them.
Despite improvements made over the years, significant stigma still lingers around addiction and mental health issues. Many people are hesitant to share what they’re going through because they’re afraid others may think less of them. Unfortunately, this hesitation also keeps them from getting better.
The truth is that asking for help takes courage and strength. It’s a decision and undertaking that people should respect—and if they don’t, perhaps you might not need to keep those people in your life. The people who really care about you will celebrate and support your decision.
It may feel impossible to commit a chunk of time to yourself when you have other obligations, such as your job or your kids. You may worry that your career will suffer if you step away, or that your employer won’t understand. You might also have some concerns about leaving your family unsupported.
However, entering recovery is often the best thing you can do for your career and loved ones. Once you’re sober, you will have more energy and focus to give to the things that matter most in your life. You’ll be more productive at work and more attentive at home. Consider it an investment into your future, and into that of your family.
In many cases, you can take leave from work without having to reveal why or losing your job while you’re away. Explore your rights as a worker while you’re researching recovery.
Becoming sober means losing your main coping mechanism. It’s scary to imagine what might happen if you take that away from yourself. You may not be sure whether you’ll be able to handle stressful situations and complicated emotions.
You don’t need to worry, though. Part of the recovery process is learning healthy coping mechanisms to replace your substance use. Trained professionals in both medical and mental health fields will support you in finding what works best for you.
Having healthy coping mechanisms will actually make it easier to deal with whatever life throws your way. Turning to substance use often makes things worse in the long run.
You’ve made the essential first step of recognizing that you want to pursue recovery. You still have fears, but you’re willing to work through them. Some resources and tools that might help you overcome your doubts include:
Once you’ve overcome your fears and have made the commitment to enter recovery, you’ll need to find the program that’s right for you. You may have already chosen a treatment center during your research. You may have several options, and you’re not sure how to narrow it down to one.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a recovery program:
Ultimately, the recovery program you attend is up to you. Consider what type of treatment you believe will be most effective, and search until you find the center that offers what you need. Don’t be afraid to reach out to alumni to hear about their experiences.
Ready to take the first step? Jackson House Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers offer many programs for all types of SUDs. Our compassionate, highly trained staff is ready to answer any questions you might have. Reach out to learn more about our programs today!