Whoever coined the phrase “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself” clearly never faced the paralyzing decision to seek treatment for addiction. On the one hand, we are often faced with this decision when we feel like we have absolutely nothing to lose. But there is also the stigma, having to explain it to family, friends, and people at work. And submitting ourselves to some unknown type of treatment for what is sometimes not even a definite time period is really hard to do. Or the worst fear of all: do we even want to recover? There are so many fears surrounding treatment for substance use. However, we can change the fear factor and change our lives.
What is Treatment?
If treatment for substance use was a carnival, people would be lined up to get in, substance use or not. How many of us even know what treatment is, though?
Treatment for substance use usually begins with some kind of detoxification, usually with some type of medical monitoring around the clock. Certain types of substances, such as opioids, can have severe side effects during withdrawal. These side effects are lessened considerably with the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. This sounds scary but is very short term.
Once your body is free of substance, then the work of treatment begins. Programs vary widely in terms of either set programs that everyone conforms to or personalized treatment that is designed with your needs in mind. Often, the latter is successful because we have a say in which types of therapy and programs are used, which helps us individually, and also allows us to “buy-in” to the treatment.
Usually, there is both individual and group therapy. During these sessions, specific methods may be used, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT,) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT,) trauma recovery, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR,) and relapse prevention. Additionally, there are usually opportunities for exercise and learning about nutrition. This can be as simple as yoga or breathwork, or as extensive as hiking or tennis or basketball. There are also activities such as meditation that help to heal our minds, bodies, and offer skills that can help us for the rest of our lives.
The ideal treatment is designed for holistic health: classes, training, therapy, and activities that seek to improve our mind, body, and soul simultaneously. Again, the idea is that we have the opportunity to choose from a variety of services to personalize our recovery experience. AToN Center, for example, knows that when we are given choices in recovery, we are more likely to achieve the ideal: autonomy in our own recovery, independence in our mental, physical, and spiritual health.
Treatment length varies. Most often, some length of residential treatment is required. This is a kind of treatment where you stay at the facility around the clock for a period of time. Many facilities value and even encourage family visitations, where they can also receive therapy and learn what we are going through. In this way, the treatment is truly holistic within our lives as well. After the residential stay, there may be other meetings, therapy sessions, etc. as needed on a case by case basis to support our recovery.
What is Holding Us Back?
There are so many excuses we can hide behind to prevent us from being healthy: work, school, family, cost of treatment, and more. At the end of the day, all of these excuses have ways to be resolved. Truly, it is a matter of whether or not we really want this. That is where the biggest questions arise: Can I really do this? Am I worth it? Will people still like me when I am sober?
The answer to all of these questions is an absolute yes. You can do this. You are more than worth this. And yes, of course, people will still like you when you are sober. Actually, they will probably like you better, as you are able to show up in your life when you are substance-free. However, it is up to us as individuals to do the work.
Some people also ask “What if I fail?” When we consider where we are in our substance use and where we are headed, failing at recovery is generally a step up. When we are desperate enough to seek help, that is helpful. But what if we don’t survive to make it to that point? Seeking treatment should never be scarier than staying in our substance abuse. When we allow fear to make our decision, we are submitting control of our lives to fear, rather than ourselves.
Recovery is hardly the worst thing to happen to us. In fact, it is likely to be the best thing to happen to us. Changing the fear into action takes courage. Making that call, stepping into treatment, and boldly working through recovery takes immense courage. But none of it is as scary as what could happen to us if we don’t: Accidents, injury, serious illness, losing our families, incarceration, and death, to name a few. If we look at what we should really be afraid of, it is always going to be our addiction. The fears we have about recovery are more about enabling our substance use than protecting ourselves. Burst out of the fear factor and jump into recovery. Your new life awaits you.
Break the fear factor with AToN Center. Call (888) 535-1516 now and embrace a new life, where fear is history.