One of the most common obstacles that besets individuals who are considering seeking treatment for their addictions is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of losing an identity—these are only a few of the types of fear that an addict might harbor prior to seeking treatment. Earlier this month we covered the first four of eight common fears that might keep an addict away from treatment. Now, in part 2, here is a look at four more common fears.
Fear of losing friends.
Many who abuse substances habitually with a group of friends who also use fear that seeking treatment will cause them to lose these friends. While it is an unfortunate truth that fellow users might become defensive or might not be supportive if you choose to seek treatment, a true friend will want what’s best for you. If you find upon beginning treatment that many of the friends you spent most of your time with are beginning to abandon you, this is a good indicator that they aren’t the types of friends that will help support you in life anyhow. Be sure to take a step back and consider what you have in common with those you have been spending your time with, as well. If the main thing you had in common was a shared addiction to a particular drug or alcohol, chances are it isn’t a very deep friendship.
Fear of losing an identity.
Addiction has a way of becoming the center of your life and in turn becoming a central part of who you are. You might fear that once your addiction is gone, you’ll be losing a central part of your identity and won’t know what to replace it with. But who were you before addiction set in? What were your values, interests, talents, and hobbies? Look to these things—and anticipate getting to know yourself more during recovery—when reconstructing your identity post-addiction.
Fear of judgment.
Some simply fear the social stigma that they perceive is tied to undergoing treatment for addiction. They fear that others will look down on them for seeking help for an addiction. It’s important to note, however, that there are privacy policies in place for those who might harbor this fear. A treatment facility will share as much or as little with friends and family as an individual chooses, and many employers are supportive of addiction recovery treatment. Moreover, you’ll likely find that those closest to you will be supportive of your decision rather than judgmental. Your example may even be an inspiration to others.
Fear of change.
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of the change that comes along with recovering from an addiction. Addiction recovery means new habits, new routines, and possibly even new groups of people that you will spend most of your time with. The change to come might seem daunting, but keep in mind that embracing all of these positive changes will be worth it.