For most active addicts, the idea of recovery is an overwhelming one. Individuals struggle with a variety of emotions before seeking help and, though the fact that help is available is certainly comforting, it is common for most addicts to experience some degree of hesitation in the process.
In reality, entering treatment can cause a great deal of anxiety, fear and confusion. It’s totally normal for a flood of questions, concerns and emotions to rush in at once. Furthermore, the following 3 factors make seeking help even harder to navigate and research.
1. There is little education.
The topic of addiction treatment is rarely discussed in the public sector. As such, very little information is given to the general population. Although the concepts of personal growth and development, holistic health and mental health are certainly gaining popularity, addiction and recovery is not as widely discussed in comparison to other mainstream topics.
For that reason, unless one knows to access publications, online and otherwise, specific to addiction and recovery, personal knowledge of the subjects will likely be derived from television, movies and personal experience. And, though educational resources on the topic are provided at treatment centers, via various online recovery programs and blogs/articles, gaining individually-desired information or getting answers to specific personal questions can be difficult.
2. There are many unknowns in recovery.
What will the process be like? Will it be like camp? A hospital? An insane asylum? What will happen to me in there? Will anyone understand what I’ve been through? These questions and more become overwhelming and often postpone any recovery plans.
Of course, the perspective on and concerns about recovery are different for everyone. And, additionally, each person has their own level of fear and hesitation. But the general lack of understanding and consequential confusion about the treatment facility is typically a shared experience.
Other than virtual tours on facility websites, much of the inner workings of treatment and rehabilitation is left to the imagination. And, given the greatly reduced degree of clarity and rationale experienced in active addiction, the vast majority of those assumptions can be quite negative and irrational.
3. You’re in the midst of chemical imbalance.
The mental fog that usually accompanies active addiction doesn’t help matters. Active addiction wreaks havoc on brain chemistry. Short-term memory loss, anxiety, depression, inability to focus are just a handful of the many possible acute mental/psychological symptoms. All of the above make any shift in daily routines and the prospect of residential treatment or rehab a confusing process.
Additionally, the emotional upheaval resulting from drug-induced chemical imbalances and any co-occurring, untreated diagnoses add chaos rather than clarity. Drug-induced paranoia can also play a role in adding to the fear and confusion as well.
Still, the treatment requirement for the disease of addiction is no different than that for cancer or any other disease. And, as such, it is necessary, if one hopes to survive the disease and thrive in life. Letting fear or confusion prevent that process is no different than an individual diagnosed with cancer allowing the same to become the reason for not choosing therapies that guarantee or extend life.
In other words, there is no reason to buy into the negative emotions or thoughts that attempt to sabotage survival and successful recovery. In fact, those confusing, fearful cognitions and emotions, though normal, are rooted in active addiction. They are the antithesis of recovery. To put it plainly, that’s the addiction talking.
Give the voice of reason and self-love a chance to speak. Get the help needed via drug/alcohol treatment and a personalized recovery program. Allow the voice of active addiction to be silenced completely so your own can become louder and a sense of clarity and safety can return.