Man in red hoodie thinking about recovery

4 Negative Assumptions That are Disproved in Recovery

By Nina Bradshaw is a professionally qualified social worker and therapist in the UK. She earned a Master's Degree in Personality Disorder Studies, a Master's Degree in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and a Master's Degree in Sociology/Social Policy/Social Work.

Sober Recovery Expert Author

Man in red hoodie thinking about recovery

When thinking of quitting our substance of choice, many things come into play in favor of or against quitting. We may be held back due to the negative ideas we have about what life without our substance will be like. Here are 4 common negative assumptions people have about recovery before getting sober that are entirely untrue once they’ve made the switch.

1. Life is going to be boring.

When we’re using, life becomes narrowly focused on our next high, the next time we can lose ourselves to the drink, etc. This can leave us feeling like life is meaningless without the euphoria that comes from taking our drug or drink. This state of mind is actually an illusion as all we are doing making life a repetitive sequence of getting high, withdrawing, getting a new hit, and so on. What could be more boring than that?

During active addiction and early recovery, it may be difficult to think of how we will cope without our drink or drug. But as time goes on, the benefits of more clean time become more apparent.

The truth is, without this vicious cycle we have a whole new world of options available to us that we were previously too stuck in our destructive behavior to realize.

2. I will lose all my friends.

If the friends you had while using were all using friends, you should seriously ask yourself: do you still want to associate with them when you quit? Most people find that their using friends were just there for the sole purpose of using. It’s a given that the friends that you do want to keep in your life should be pleased to see you break the destructive pattern of addiction and be ready to support you in staying clean.

3. I won’t be able to cope with hard times.

Many people start using to help themselves manage difficult feelings and/or situations. Later, their using and drinking develops into addiction and the idea of coping without numbing their feelings in a scary prospect. This is something that can take time and support to learn to accept, but in time, you will learn how to cope with difficulties without your drink or drug. Through the help of supportive friends, family and a therapist, you can incorporate new methods in managing your emotions.

4. I won’t be able to celebrate the good times.

Conversely, many people mourn the loss of being able to blow off steam, to kick back and lose control with a blow out when they have something to celebrate. Again, the more clean time you have, the more you will realize that any celebration is more joyful without numbing your feelings with alcohol or drugs. It may take time to lose the sense of loss, but in the long run, sobriety brings endless rewards.

In active addiction or early recovery, it may be difficult to think of how we will cope without our drink or drug. But as time goes on, and the benefits of more clean time become more apparent, you will find that all of these negative assumptions you have in your head are actually false and that you have so much benefits to reap in a new clean and sober life.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

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