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9 Words You Should Never Say to an Addict in Recovery
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Fear kept me from getting treatment for a long time.
I remember back when I was in active addiction that there were times when I really wanted to stop using drugs but the fear of inpatient addiction treatment kept me from doing anything about it.
These feelings of wanting to get clean can disappear as quickly as they come. This is why it is important to act on these feelings as soon as you have them. Ambivalence is a common part of being an addict. Ambivalence means that you want two things at the same time. You want to be clean but you want to get high.
Confusing? Not to an addict.
An addict is very familiar with this kind of duality. It’s kind of like the cartoon of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. They are both talking to you and saying opposite things. Sometimes the angel (wanting to get clean/sober) seems a little stronger and sometimes the devil (wanting to get high/drunk) seems a little stronger but neither one ever really wins the argument.
To overcome your fears of going to inpatient treatment, you have to take action when your angel is at its strongest.
Sometimes, it’s better to not think about it too much and just act on it. Don’t worry that you may not wholeheartedly want to get clean. This is normal. Once the drugs leave your system, you will be thinking clearer and your angel will get stronger. Plus, you’ll have lots of people around you who will help you listen to your angel more than your devil.
If acting on your thoughts of getting clean isn’t enough to motivate you to inpatient treatment, think about all your fears of going to inpatient treatment and how you can overcome them. I had lots of fears about going to inpatient treatment before I went. I’m going to make a list of some of my fears and then show you how you can fight against them.
What Scared Me
Some of my fears included:
- Withdrawal is going to be painful and uncomfortable.
- I won’t know anyone there so I’ll be all alone.
- I don’t know what will happen there.
- They’ll make me work.
- I’ll have to talk about all the bad stuff I did.
- I’ll start to feel the guilt for all the bad stuff I did.
- I’ll start to have feelings again. I like feeling numb.
- I’ll have to give up my friends and my boyfriend (or girlfriend).
- I’ll be bored without drugs. Life won’t be any fun.
- I don’t have any willpower. I can’t stop using drugs.
- I won’t be me without drugs.
- I spend all my time on drugs. What will I do without drugs?
- I have a mental health issue too. Will this be treated as well?
If you put some thought into your fears, you can turn them all around and make them into reasons to go to inpatient treatment. You can make an argument for why each fear isn’t a reason to avoid rehab. In some cases, you can even turn your fears into strengths. This may be hard to believe but you can do it if you think about it in a positive light. Let’s examine each of my fears and how you can change them around so they don’t seem so scary….continued below:
Learn more about these fears and how to beat them in the rest of the article by Anna Deeds, MSED, NCC, LPC: Going to Rehab is Scary – Learn How to Get Past Your Fears