Content reviewed by Christian Losch, LCSW, LCADC, CEO of Pinelands
Recognizing and acknowledging that you have an addiction is an incredibly challenging realization. While it can come as a relief to know that this step is over, the next hurdles you may encounter might also prove to be uncomfortable. One such measure includes entering a recovery center.
Many people experience extreme fear and anxiety upon shifting from “everyday life” to a life in recovery. While these feelings are entirely normal, they can become an issue if they hold you back from making this critical transition. By becoming aware of your fears you can ensure the success of your future recovery. Below are some examples of common fears, accompanied by various antidotes to them as well.
Due to the association of substance use with euphoria and escapism, many people fear that they will no longer be able to have fun if they enter recovery.
While this is a valid and normal fear to experience, it is not true. Rather than no longer having fun, recovery facilities will provide you with the knowledge, tools and training necessary to learn to have fun without the influence of substances.
Even though it sounds like this process will be daunting, you may be surprised at how much fun learning to have fun can be. During this process, you are allowed to explore any and every activity that is not related to drugs or alcohol. You can even do so with the presence of fellow peers in recovery, making the process even more fun.
There are many enjoyable activities you can try while in recovery. Some things that you can try to mitigate this particular fear include:
- Watch your favorite movies while eating fun snacks. Doing this can not only distract you from your fears, but it can also serve as proof that you can have fun without the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are worried about the potential lack of enjoyment you may experience in recovery, watching your favorite film paired with a delicious snack could be a delightful reminder that you will experience fun along this new journey.
- Light some candles and read a book. Having sensory stimulants, such as light and candles, can help naturally keep you calm and grounded. When experiencing fears of no longer having fun in recovery, it is important to remain in the present moment. Lighting scented candles and reading by candlelight can help remind you that you are safe and that you can enjoy the moment. Getting lost in one of your favorite stories can also help you find enjoyment in the present moment.
During this time, you may be worried that you will drastically change as a person.
Fortunately and unfortunately, the odds are this will be true. However, it does not mean that you need to be afraid of this process. Even though change is scary, it is essential to trust that this change will be a wonderful addition to your life.
When considering your desire to enter recovery, this means you want to make significant changes in your current life. However, this does not imply that realizing you will experience so much of this change is still not unnerving. In this scenario, the critical thing to do is to remind yourself that all of the changes you will experience will be for the better. Below are a few other ways you can cope with this fear:
- Process your desires for change in a journal. By writing out what you want to change about yourself and your life, you can remind yourself why you are entering recovery. Processing these thoughts and feelings in this way can help to reduce the control that fear may have over your thoughts and actions at the moment.
- Try a new activity. If you are interested in playing a new sport, for example, trying a new activity around new people can be a fantastic way to show you that change can be a great thing. Whether you decide to play golf for the first time or go on a walk in a new park, doing something new can serve as a refreshing, fun experience.
Facing your past can be intimidating and scary, and should not be taken lightly.
You can be assured that, while recovering, you will be provided with a safe, supportive environment to begin coming to peace with your past.
Counselors and therapists will empathize with you, validate you, and teach you valuable practices such as self-compassion and forgiveness. Your peers will also be able to relate with you on a very personal level, simultaneously offering you relief and ridding you of shame.
Although this can be a long process, you can begin practicing ways to express self-acceptance before entering recovery that can help you to come to terms with the idea of opening up about your past. These can include:
- Saying daily affirmations in the mirror.
- Making a list of all the things you love about yourself.
While entering recovery can be intimidating for various reasons, do not let this hold you back from taking this necessary step in your life. Our caring faculty is here to guide you through this time in your life and support you along the way as well. Call us today at (877) 557-5372 to begin taking the necessary steps towards your new sober future.