When it comes to recovery, everyone has their own opinion on whether someone can fail or be truly successful in finding sobriety. It is hard for anyone to understand what addiction and addiction recovery are unless they have lived through it because it is a very personal experience. Each individual will have to find the best path for them.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation regarding recovery on the internet, and it is essential to discuss these deceptive points. Some of the myths, lies, and misconceptions we will be going over are sadly common reasons why individuals chose not to stay on a path to recovery or why their families are unwilling to support them in recovery. We want to spread the truth about recovery and create a guide that enables you to separate the untrue from what you commonly hear.
MYTH 1: “Life isn’t fun sober.”
One of the most common misconceptions is that life will be mundane and monotonous without alcohol and drug use but that is simply not true. Many actually feel the opposite and feel as though life did not begin until they rid their life of these substances.
Whether you had attempted sobriety before or not, change is scary and it is hard to not feel intimidated when taking such a big step forward. Although society has depicted drinking and drugs as a way to feel alive, a lot of individuals are not any happier since starting substance use. Sobriety can provide more freedom and opportunities than being enslaved to addiction. Once in recovery, you are able to explore new hobbies, new goals, and have more time and more money to rebuild your life the way you want to. This can be a huge encouragement to live a life more fun than the life you lived while dealing with addiction.
MYTH 2: “There is only one way to get sober.”
There are no one-size-fits-all when it comes to recovery. Some quiet cold turkey, some need support groups and sponsors, some will relapse multiple times before finding recovery, and this is all good! Recovery is the most important goal and it doesn’t matter how you get to that path as long as you do what is right for you. From 12-step, SMART recovery, online meetings, religious support groups, there are many different ways for individuals to find a path to recovery. Some of those may work, others may need more of a rehabilitation center or treatment center like The Haven.
It is important to understand your addiction and find your weaknesses and then build a plan that will help you stop substance use and address all the new challenges you will face. For example, if you are someone who knows that you can not be around the substance at all and you need to be in a new environment to truly stop substance use then you could benefit from a residential treatment program.
MYTH 3: “When you get sober you have to avoid all settings with alcohol.”
When finding help and starting your journey in recovery, it is crucial to protect your recovery and do everything you can to avoid giving in to temptation. Avoiding places and settings with alcohol can be an easy way to start your recovery but in time the goal would be to build enough self-control to still be an active member of society and be able to go to functions where alcohol is present.
The goal of sobriety is not avoiding drugs or alcohol, it is actively choosing, again and again, to not engage in them. The longer you remain sober the easier it will be for you to cope and build skills to help you remain sober long-term. True recovery will give you the ability to lead a normal and sober lifestyle whether alcohol and drugs are present.
MYTH 4: “You don’t deserve to be sober.”
Unfortunately, this myth is a very common reason why so many choose not to get help. Negative self-talk and self-doubt will continue to be mindset roadblocks that discourage so many from believing they can recover. Addiction can affect ANYONE. Addiction does not discriminate, and no matter who you are, you deserve to be free from your addiction.
MYTH 5: “Relapse is a sign of failure.”
Relapse is normal. Yes, you heard us, relapse is normal for those going through recovery. Addiction can not be cured overnight. Many individuals will relapse multiple times before making their way into sobriety but they still can achieve it. It is near impossible to have a perfect recovery process with no mistakes. Support systems need to continue supporting the individual and guiding them towards recovery again. Try to build your support systems up to have more accountability toward sobriety but forgive yourself when relapse occurs.
MYTH 6: “You must keep your struggle with addiction a secret.”
Despite the previous negative stigma, more and more individuals are being open about their recovery from addiction. Social media has created a community for those living with addiction to find resources, learn tips, and share stories. Whether you feel the judgment of loved ones, or your work status changes, you must continue to do what is best for you.
Recovery is rarely fruitful when you’re forced to hide what you’re going through in the shadows. Keeping your recovery a secret is a huge psychological burden and will take a lot of effort to maintain so being honest is always the most preferred route. Also, being open and honest will help you be more accountable and will give you ownership and power over your truth.
At The Haven, we pride ourselves on helping to turn back the stigma of addiction and focus on the individual going through recovery. We have programs and life skills to help equip them with what they need to find sobriety, even in today’s world. From detox, residential programs, and support groups you can find support at The Haven.