New paths cause fear and stress, even when it comes to positive changes such as going to a detox. The addicted person is afraid that he/she won’t be able to go through detox and get sober, that detox won’t work, that they’ll disappoint those who love them, etc… All of these reasons have something in common—the unknown factor— which is quite intimidating.
The human brain has a tendency to define its world and the way the world is supposed to work. We like certain things to stay the same; An addict has his/her daily habits and rituals, and whenever something disrupts this personal world—including the new and own desire to get sober—the brain tries to prevent change.
Numerous questions and doubts go through an addict’s head. Change brings things that we don’t know anything about. If you’re an addict, or you have one close to you thinking about going to a detox facility but are too afraid, let them know that the fear of change is normal and all people have it.
We try things and fail at them EVERY DAY. We’re always trying to eliminate things from our lives, whether it’s fatty food, gluten, bad relationships, or opiates.
Failure to quit abusing drugg or drinking is scarier than all of the others simply because not being able to control the urge for the addictive substances makes a person “weak” in their own eyes and the eyes of others, and destines them for another struggle.
Are you afraid you won’t have things to do on weekends because you usually went clubbing and got high with your friends? Believe us, a life that revolves around drugs and alcohol is not even near fun as the life spent traveling the world, reading, exercising, or trying new things… The possibilities are endless, especially with all the money you’re about to save by not buying drugs.
Some are afraid to better their own life for fear of what other people will think or say about them. This is quite a common fear. It’s important to understand that trying to improve your own life is only for YOU, not others. If something is going to make your life better, there’s no need to care what others are saying…
Not everyone will understand or approve that you can’t have “just one drink”, but you’re probably lucky enough to have a few dear, supportive people that will understand. It’s up to you to improve your life, and others will always find something to pass judgment on.
The social circle of an addict involves more or less the same people—addicts. When asked about why are they afraid of quitting, most addicts will answer that they are afraid of not having any friends when they get out of the rehab.
Of course you’ll have to give up some of your old friends for obvious reasons. The risks of relapsing is enormous if you find yourself near old habits, but many people get through an addiction, rehab and everything that goes with it, and still have acquaintances. Good people are everywhere; you’ll have new friends sooner than you think.
Remember: You won’t lose everyone, and not everyone you will lose is a loss. Not everyone necessarily loses their friends, but all relationships will likely change if you decide to get sober. If people in your life are not fond of your new life choices, then they’re probably not in your life for the right reasons and their absence likely won’t hurt. Sobriety may take you to crossing paths with some amazing (and not so amazing) people.
Having fears and doubts is human. We all do and we always will, in every single aspect of life— especially when deciding to try something new.