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Overcoming Fear in Addiction Treatment

Worried woman in chair trying to overcome fears of addiction treatment

Addiction treatment, it could be argued, is an amazing journey into the unknown. Of course, when you face the unknown, you also face your fear of your past or the fears of addiction treatment itself.

You might be afraid of a lot of things—and for good reason. If you’ve never been to recovery before, you might be afraid of a new experience, and if you have, you might be afraid of being judged for relapsing. Equally common is that you are fearful of what emotions and practical issues you’ll have to face. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • What will my new life look like? Will I hate who I become?
  • How can I handle facing my past?
  • What if others see how messed up I am? Am I beyond the point of coming back?
  • What if the people I’ve hurt don’t forgive me? What if I do all this work and I still lose everything? 

Replacing Fears in Addiction Treatment with Truth

Ruminating on these fears of addiction treatment will often only lead you further and further away from your goals. Choose instead to meditate on these truths:

  • You get to create and shape your life any way you want. Your ideas about who you want to be may shift and grow as you do. 
  • When you think about the life you want for yourself, you’ll find the motivation to stop hiding from feelings and face them head-on.
  • Although building new friendships feels difficult, experiencing a relationship where someone doesn’t just accept you but also wants what’s best for you is powerful. Your new friends won’t judge you; they know where you’ve been. 
  • Relapse is a part of the disease and can be a powerful teacher. What’s more important is that you haven’t given up. 
  • Others are great motivators, but the primary person you are doing this for is yourself. Those you’ve hurt will need to go through their own process with the pain (that will never fit into your neatly laid out plans), but reconciliation won’t be possible if you’re not ready for it. 

Beyond meditating on the truths listed above or creating a list of your own to recite like a mantra, there are other things you can do to overcome your fears in addiction treatment.

  • Consider practicing basic mindfulness for a few minutes to calm your fears. You’ll train yourself, over time, to react calmly and help yourself stay in the present. 
  • Focus on positive emotion. Whereas fear narrows your perspective, activating the flight response and causing tunnel vision on what is wrong or the threat, positive emotions open us up. When you focus on what is going well, you are more able to see other things that have gone well and find a more realistic middle ground.
  • Deal with the practical concern, if there is one. Procrastination only causes things to get bigger and scarier in your mind. Toothaches do not go away on their own. 
  • Ask for help if you need it, and tell the person, “I am not used to dealing with things so quickly or so directly,” or, “I have never done this before.” People are more willing to help someone who is honest about their struggle.
  • Remind yourself that your addiction treatment team is there for you. The team at The Right Step is there to support and guide you (as they have countless others before) on the path to recovery. You can talk to your therapist about how you feel and come to terms with your fears knowing that they are common to the process. 

Deciding to seek addiction treatment for yourself is likely to bring up many fears about the process. Although you’ve heard it before, remember that these fears are normal and only mean that you are genuinely engaging with the process. If you didn’t have fears, you wouldn’t be realistically considering the ramifications of your decision to pursue lasting sobriety. 

If you’re ready to overcome those fears and move to the next step in the recovery process by attending addiction treatment, our admissions coordinators are ready to help you get set up with a program at any of our three Texas addiction treatment programs near you!
The Right Step is here to help you plan your next step. Call us at 844.610.7826.

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