One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do
They say healing can often be more painful than the disease itself. Most Bangladeshis are striving to break free from the grappling chains of drug addiction. The screeches for help echo from almost every corner – houses, parks, slums, streets, marketplaces, etc.
From opium to Ganja and cocaine, easy drug distribution has birthed a pandemic that has affected nearly 25 lakh people in the riverine country. 80% of these numbers belong to the 15 to 30 years demographics!
Can you relate? Whether it’s your drinking that has gone out of hand or your use of drugs, the most important things to remember are
- There’s no need for you to feel isolated. You can and should reach out for help.
- Though right now it may seem far-fetched, you can overcome this.
- The initial moments will be the most challenging, especially solidifying the resolve to go to rehab. You need to fight past the fears.
Finally, if you can’t seem to shake off the fear of going to a rehab center, you’re not alone. This comprehensive guide will walk you through fears surrounding rehab and provide failsafe tips to overcome them.
7 Common Fears Stopping People from Going to Rehab
The Department of Narcotics Control of Bangladesh revealed that a total of 355 rehabilitation centres exist across the country. However, not many people are walking through their doors. Given below are the common reasons (fears) why.
Fears Regarding the Treatment Process at the Centre
This particular fear stems from the fear of the unknown. You know you need help, and you’d gladly accept it only if you could get a short trailer on how the entire process would look and feel, right? Then, attached to it is a sibling fear – fear of withdrawal.
Let’s admit the facts — withdrawal is a typically painful process, depending upon how strong your addiction is. However, this is where the expertise of a reliable rehab staff comes in! Well-versed in their field, experts craft a personalised treatment program whose detox process is well-aligned to your psychological and physiological needs.
The medical staff will be there to comfort you and monitor the process. You may be prescribed certain medications that prevent dangerous withdrawal effects from kicking in. Since the detox process will be customised and controlled, you can shed the fear of the treatment.
Fear to talk about the past
Addictions can impact every other aspect of life. They penetrate our relationships, lead us to tamper with the law, and even compel us to hurt ourselves. Soon enough, a train of unfortunate events follows us, haunting us to sabotage the present and future.
But while the mere thought of confronting your past shortcomings can seem suffocating, it’s a critical part of the process should you wish to breathe freely again. Yes, you cannot fix certain relationships or consequences, but your situation, by all means, can.
You can face and conquer this fear with the help of an empathetic support group. With time, you will restore even the irredeemable parts completely. A good rehab will also involve friends and family in this process to facilitate a faster recovery.
Fear of Judgement
This is another common and legitimate fear. Going to rehab means taking a complete break from routine life. This could involve taking time off work, not showing up for family commitments, etc. You might worry about words going out as to why you’re not showing up.
Perhaps you need to break the news to your employer, or maybe even your family members are unaware of your addiction. In any case, remember that these people love and care for you. They are more likely to support your decision, cheering you on as you embark on the road toward freedom and recovery.
However, you should also consider this time as an opportunity to re-evaluate relationships. If there are people passing judgment or throwing hurtful remarks at you, they are a toxic influence in your life. Cut your losses and confide in those who offer you much-needed support.
Fear of Missing out on Fun
As strange as it may seem, many people feel as if they’ll miss out on happiness or fun if they were to get sober. Another fear that is closely tied with this one is forsaking relationships or friendships that may encourage such behaviour.
Indeed, your mind and body will not like the process, at least initially. You may feel depressed and lost in life. This process of stepping out of addiction into sobriety is a form of death, so grieving is normal.
While your fear of being unhappy is justified, it’s also time to deal with complex emotions (or sadness) that you were perhaps suppressing with a bottle of alcohol or drugs. Recovery is all about conscious effort, and with a therapist’s help, you can work on goals and dreams that make you feel fulfilled and purposeful in life.
Fear of Relapse
When you’re tightly held (against your will) in the clutches of addiction, the road to complete recovery can look blurry and scary. It’s natural to not even want to take that first step, because what if you can’t stay sober, right?
The truth is that recovering addicts do relapse-nearly 40 to 60% of them. But these statistics should not scare you. This is simply because relapse is not equivalent to doom and failure. It is like a trial-and-error process wherein you learn as you go.
Figure out what you did wrong and rectify it in the future. If anything, don’t give up! You only fail 100% at the shots you never take, so let this not be the case.
Fear of Success
Perhaps this current fear might seem to be the strongest of them all. You may think, “Isn’t success the whole purpose of going to rehab?” Yes, it is, but the brain has its own ways of throwing tantrums to keep you stuck in a vicious cycle of comfort.
They say success begins outside one’s comfort zone, and the same principle applies here. When you’ve lived a specific pattern, your body adjusts and becomes comfortable regardless of whether the cycle is toxic.
Getting out of it will require you to swim upstream – it will all seem very new and scary, but that’s precisely why your support group exists! Staying connected to it will help you slowly digest and enjoy the new life of freedom.
Fear of Losing Time
Given our fast-paced lives, it is natural to face fears surrounding slowing down and taking care of your needs. Often, employees fear work commitments might suffer, parents fear Parents leave their children in the care of the extended family, and students fear being denied re-admittance.
As valid as these fears are, they should not stop you from seeking help for your addiction. Always remember the sobering truth that addiction costs much more than we had initially planned to pay. With time, things only get worse until there’s a point of no return.
While it’s inevitable that this road will snatch time away from you in the future, pressing the breaks now will give you more quality time to do the things you’ve always wanted to. That’s time invested, not wasted, right?
Tips to Overcome Rehab Fear
Now that we’ve shed light on the most common fears surrounding rehab, let’s share some tried-and-tested tips on overcoming these fears.
Take the Plunge
Don’t worry! At the end of it, a solid support group is there to cushion your fall. Involve a trusted family member or friend and together research different rehabilitation centers in the area and their practices.
A good rehab will include highly skilled and trained medical staff that recognize that each individual’s journey is unique. Moreover, they will create a customized treatment plan that considers your challenges, psychological needs, etc.
The minute you walk through the doors, you will experience a sense of warmth and love as everyone will accept you with open arms. The community becomes a safe space to share fears and overcome them.
Encountering the Past
Your addiction may have sustained itself at the cost of valuable relationships, and while you may be tempted to restore them immediately, this won’t happen overnight. Depending upon the wounds inflicted and endured, healing may be a long and uncomfortable process.
But what you won’t confront, you can’t redeem. Let your support group help you by inviting the other party to an open discussion. There’s hope for healing in an environment where all parties feel safe.
With time, you will also learn to treat yourself better, and sobriety will naturally prevent you from getting into trouble with the law.
Confront the People
Some people will be judgemental and unsupportive of your decision to seek help in rehab. Consider this a fortunate chance to re-assess relationships. Support and comfort should be the only ideal responses to someone’s resolve toward living a healthier lifestyle.
If that is lacking, you’re looking at a toxic relationship. It could be an overtly critical person or friends and acquaintances who resent you not accompanying them to their addiction escapades. In any case, it’s time to leave such relationships and attract healthier people into your life.
If it’s a relationship where you simply cannot avoid the other person (as in an employer), refuse to let their remarks have a negative impact. Rather, use them to fuel your motivation to connect and succeed in beating your addiction.
Let Neurotransmitters Have Their Way
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in your brain that carry messages from one nerve cell to the other. Let’s understand their incredible role – when you consume drugs or alcohol, these messengers transmit the euphoric “high” that you feel due to the release of endorphins and dopamine.
However, this feeling of highness is the body’s defence mechanism against acute pain for survival. The more of this high you receive, the more you’ll want it. Hence, addiction is mainly caused by neurotransmitter disruption.
Thankfully, this same process on the reverse can help detangle the mess you’ve gotten into. Yes, it will be much more complex and challenging, but as your support group fills time lapses, your neurotransmitter function will normalize. Over time, the dependence on a drug or alcohol will start to diminish.
Guard your heart, for from it are the issues of life.
Does it seem like a strange tip? All this means is that once you’ve self-identified as an addict and made your body comfortable with a cycle of temporary highs, it will throw tantrums. You may find yourself stuck in a downward spiral of thoughts that feels depressing and discouraging.
The first place to win this battle is the heart and mind. Constantly guard them against negative thoughts. Bring each thought captive to the obedience of the truth that time promises freedom and a new life that will be so much better.
Reach out to your support group and step outside your comfort zone. Experiment with interests like art, sports, music, etc., to divert your attention. Hang in there and watch yourself transform into a different person!
Keep Your Decision Private
While there are certain people in your life whom you cannot avoid breaking the news to, others need not know. This could include people aware of your addiction or not. If your temporary absence is unlikely to affect them, keep it confidential.
Problems may arise when such news passes through too many lips and ears. Instead, this is a time to be free from questionnaires and distractions so you can focus on complete healing. A trusted community of friends and family, along with the rehab support group, are all you need to recover.
As for the others, let them meet the transformed you!
Look for Beauty in the Present Moment.
While navigating tumultuous emotions and thoughts, dwell upon times when you didn’t do drugs or drink alcohol. Let your mind feast on the freedom of bygone days.
As you relish and covet those memories, you’ll regain the strength to take it all one moment at a time. Speak to a close friend, take a walk in the woods with a support group member, and share your musings, expectations, and fears openly.
Make the most of each present moment as you put faith in a brighter tomorrow.
Break Free From the Chains!
Addictions are on a steady rise in Bangladesh. However, the silver lining is that more people realise the importance of opening up and seeking help. Hopefully, they’ll walk into a good rehab center soon enough.
If addiction has you in its grips, know that you’re just one decision away from recovery. Confide in a support group and get the help you deserve! On the other side of your fears is a life of blissful freedom waiting to be explored.
Sometimes, the greatest risk of all is not to risk anything, so take the plunge!