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Why is Getting Sober Scary, Even Though Life is on the Line?

You may be at the point where you realize you are an addict, that your addiction is unsustainable, and that you need treatment. You may know without a doubt that something has to change, but you may still be scared of sobriety. Many people feel this way. Getting sober is a big life change and that is always scary. The following are some common fears people have when preparing to leave addiction behind.

I might fail.

It’s true you might fail. Many people relapse, sometimes repeatedly before they are able to stay in recovery long-term. When you go into treatment, you are making a clear commitment and that creates expectations. It’s not like when you tell yourself you are going to quit and then you relapse but it doesn’t really matter because no one noticed you tried.

Going into treatment means people will have hopes and expectations for you and you will be afraid to disappoint them. It’s a lot of pressure, especially if you are aware of how little control you have over your addiction. Whenever you are afraid of failing in sobriety, keep two things in mind: without trying, your addiction will only get worse, and if you fail, you can always try again.

I will never have fun again.

For years, your idea of fun has been tied to the drug, both how it made you feel and the things it let you do that you wouldn’t do sober. It has probably been the only thing you have looked forward to. You have forgotten about the things you used to enjoy and it’s difficult to imagine the new things you will enjoy while sober.

This is true to some extent. Few things in life are as intensely pleasurable as getting high. Here, it’s important to recognize that there is a difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is passive and temporary. Happiness is long-term and requires some effort. Drugs are pleasurable but addiction leads to misery. If you switch your focus to happiness rather than pleasure, you will feel better in the long run.

I’ll have to live with myself.

Chances are that you started using to escape something–bad thoughts, bad feelings, bad memories. Using made those things go away, at least temporarily. If you quit, you’ll be stuck with whatever it was you wanted to escape. Forever. That’s a scary possibility. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it alone. Therapy, both one-on-one and group, is a central part of treatment. You will have to face your problems, but with time and practice, you can overcome them.

I’ll lose my friends.

You may lose a few friends. Even friends who are good friends, and not just drug friends might drift away if you can’t spend time together in the same places, doing the same things. This will be hard at first, but in the long run it will be fine. You will make new friends in treatment and at meetings. You will reconnect with old friends who disappeared when your drug use got out of control. Eventually, you might reconnect with your friends who still use, and maybe even help them get sober.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help. We specialize in detox and getting you started in treatment that works best for you. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.