Many people struggling with addiction want to get sober, but share common fears about what sobriety entails. Let us take this opportunity to refute these fears and show you why getting sober is better than you realised.
- Fear of failure, fear of being labelled – what is stopping you from getting sober?
- The top reasons most people struggling with addiction are afraid to quit.
Getting sober can seem incredibly scary. Whether from drugs or alcohol, the benefits of becoming sober are often overshadowed by fear about what life will be like when all the mind-altering substances and parties have stopped. Getting sober also means you have to admit that you have a substance abuse problem, which for many people is scary enough in itself. Unfortunately, it is these fears (and more) that often stop addicts from getting the help and treatment that they need to stop using.
Thankfully however, after receiving treatment for drug or alcohol addiction and entering recovery, most people realise that the reasons they had that were making them afraid to get sober are actually not realities. In fact, living in sobriety is often deemed the best decision they ever made.
Common Fears about Getting Sober
Following are the most common fears people have about getting sober, along with the reality of these fears once sobriety has been reached.
1. “I don’t have enough willpower to succeed.”
Being afraid to fail is the most common obstacle that stops people from achieving anything in life, not just sobriety. One way to overcome this fear of failure is to think of the worst case scenario if you do not try (delving further and further into your addiction which could eventually lead to death or other extreme health consequences) and the worst case scenario if you do try (relapsing into drug or alcohol use and then trying to get sober again).
When you look at it this way, it is clear that giving sobriety a try, even if you do not succeed at first, is the best option. Seeking help from an addiction treatment centre is also a good way to increase your chances of getting and staying sober long term.
2. “I will hate being sober.”
Many people are afraid to get sober simply because they think they will hate it. When your current lifestyle revolves around drinking or drugging, it is not hard to see why the thought of living a sober life is hard to grasp. Humans often have a fear of the unknown. But what most people don’t realise, is that there are many ways in which life gets infinitely better when you get sober.
3. “I am afraid I will become boring.”
Drugs and alcohol remove inhibitions that allow people to act without thinking it over too much. In some cases this may be viewed as a good thing, such as a little ‘liquid courage’ to help you talk to that cute guy or girl standing at the bar.
But in the majority of cases, the loss of inhibitions is not a good thing. It is this loss that is responsible for you and your friends streaking down the road at 2am, dancing on tables, spending your entire paycheque on more booze or drugs, sleeping with strangers or hopping behind the wheel and endangering lives while intoxicated. Just because you will no longer get wasted and make poor decisions – this does not make you boring.
What you will be interested to find out once sober, is that without the artificial highs and lows that substance abuse provides, an even, consistent ‘you’ will actually be far more fun to be around. And the only people who will try to tell you otherwise are people who still require drugs or alcohol in order to have fun.
4. “I am afraid my life will become boring.”
When your life no longer revolves around getting high or drunk, your life will become the opposite of boring. Think of the routine that you have gotten into, always going out and drinking or drugging with the same people, usually at the same location (or one of a few local hot spots). When you get sober, you free up time in your life to partake in and enjoy new sober activities that go much farther in the way of improving your quality of life.
The money you save by not buying drugs or alcohol can quickly add up to fund a travel adventure or make a down payment on a house. The possibilities are endless.
5. “I do not want to be labelled an ‘addict’ or ‘alcoholic’.”
Admitting to having a problem can be a scary thought. The idea of being labelled an ‘addict’ or ‘alcoholic’ the rest of your life can often be even scarier. But what you need to remember is that you can choose who to share your journey with – and who to exclude. Only those who are closest to you need to know about the reasons behind your decision to stop abusing substances. It is important to remember that being sober these days is already considered cool, and nobody you do not know well needs to know any other reason for your sobriety other than it is a choice you have made.
6. “I will no longer have a coping mechanism to deal with pain.”
In many cases, addiction to drugs or alcohol takes hold because of underlying pain. Addiction can be associated with trauma or a co-occurring mental disorder, or simply be a coping mechanism when it comes to stress or emotional times. Getting sober means that you can no longer have a glass of wine, smoke a joint or snort a line to mask your inner feelings.
For most addicts, this will be one of the most valid fears of getting sober, because the pain inside can be scary. However, with professional help, this too can be overcome much easier than most people realise. Learning healthy coping skills is key when it comes to dealing with the pain and struggles that life sometimes presents.
7. “My friends will desert me.”
Losing friends is another common reason people are afraid to get sober that appears to come true. There is no denying that upon getting sober you will see some of your friends leave. But what you will also notice is that those people who are your friends – beyond just partying, drinking and taking drugs – will never leave.
You will quickly see the difference between the people who have only been around for the drugs or alcohol (who will leave to continue taking drugs or alcohol) and the people who are your true friends (who will stay with you and support you through your decision to get sober).
In some cases, even your true friends may need to take a short break from you if they are heavy into substance abuse themselves, but it is important to remember that anyone who is truly a friend, will always return. And in the meantime, being sober will allow you to make more meaningful, lasting friendships based around ‘real’ things as opposed to intoxicated interactions.
8. “People will talk.”
Being afraid to better your own life for fear of what others will say about you is a common yet inane fear. You are living your life for you, not other people. If getting sober is going to make your life better (and trust us, it always does) you should not be concerned with the opinions of others.
Only you have the power to create the life you both want and deserve, and getting sober will get you one step closer to reaching those goals.
9. “Nothing will ever be the same.”
This “fear” is true. Life in sobriety will not be the same as life living with substance abuse – it will be so much better.
So do your best to turn this thought from fear into excitement. In sobriety, your mind will be clearer; you will have more energy, money and time. The amount of positives to be gained by living go even beyond the loss of hangovers, comedowns and emotional guilt following episodes of intoxication.
Stop Being Scared and Get Sober Today.
If you or a loved one are suffering from substance abuse or addiction, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible – before the problem gets worse.
The Cabin Chiang Mai offers luxury, residential rehab for all forms of addiction. Contact us for an over-the-phone assessment to see how we can help.