Change is rarely easy. Even when we know we’re making a change for the better, significant adjustments to how we live our lives can be sources of both stress and fear. This can be particularly true among people who have become dependent on alcohol or other drugs. As painful and destructive as active addiction can be, many people put off getting the help they need because they are scared to be sober.
If this describes you, please know this: You are not alone in your concern, and there is no shame in being scared to be sober. It’s common to worry about how your life will change once you’ve achieved sobriety. But you can’t let your temporary misgivings prevent you from living the healthier and happier life you deserve. Our team is here to ease your fears and to help you begin your journey of recovery from alcohol abuse.
What is Sobriety?
If we’re going to talk about being scared to be sober, it’s important to first understand what, exactly, it means to be sober.
When the word sobriety is used within the addiction and recovery community, it means that a person is no longer using alcohol or other addictive substances. Sobriety and abstinence are often used interchangeably.
Sobriety does not mean that you no longer have urges to abuse alcohol or other drugs. This is why we use terms like sober, abstinent, or in recovery instead of saying that someone has been cured of an addiction. The disease model of addiction views substance use disorders as chronic, progressive conditions. This means that addiction is not a curable disorder. But it is treatable and manageable.
When you get proper care from an effective addiction treatment provider, you can learn to manage your symptoms and control your behaviors. This will empower you to resist the compulsion to use alcohol or other addictive substances. Being sober means you have learned how to respond to stresses, pressures, and other challenging situations without resorting to substance abuse.
Common Fears About Getting Sober
The immediate and long-term dangers of untreated addiction are well documented. Destroyed relationships, job loss and chronic unemployment, organ damage, other medical problems, the onset or worsening of co-occurring mental health disorders, overdose, and death – these are just a few of the many potential outcomes for people who are actively abusing drugs.
No one wants to experience the effects describe in the previous paragraph. But that doesn’t mean getting sober is an easy decision for everyone. Here are a few common reasons why a person might be scared to be sober:
Fear #1: You think sobriety will fundamentally change who you are. No matter how bad your life has become because of your addiction, there is a certain comfort in familiarity.
The Truth: Addiction doesn’t define who you are. Instead, it limits you from realizing your true potential. Once you get sober, not only will you still be you, but you’ll finally have the chance to become the best possible version of yourself.
Fear #2: When you get sober, you’ll lose your friends.
The Truth: When you get sober, you may lose a few acquaintances. But anyone who stops associating with you just because you’re not using drugs anymore wasn’t really a friend to begin with. No one who truly cares about you will ever stop you from improving your health and building a better life.
Fear #3: To get sober, you have to endure the pain of withdrawal.
The Truth: When you begin your sobriety journey at a reputable detox program, you can complete the withdrawal process safely and with minimal discomfort. As you are completing detox, you will discover that you are capable of more than you may have realized. This sense of accomplishment and possibility will serve you well throughout your recovery journey.
Fear #4: When you get sober, you won’t be as creative and fun as you are now.
The Truth: Drugs don’t make you creative. Also, to be completely honest here, you’re probably not nearly as fun as you think you are when you’ve been using. The mental clarity that you achieve in sobriety will allow you to unleash your full creativity and experience true joy.
Fear #5: You won’t be able to manage stress without substances.
The Truth: During treatment, you will develop healthy stress-management skills. When you’re using drugs, you’re not managing stress – you’re avoiding it. Once the effects of the drugs wear off, the problems you were trying to hide from are still there. In treatment, you will learn how to manage stress, respond to pressure, and solve problems.
The Truth About Getting Sober
We discussed a few truths about getting sober in the previous section. Here are a few more facts about what happens when you end your abuse of alcohol or other drugs:
- Your body and mind can begin to heal from the damage that drugs caused.
- Your physical strength and emotional stability can increase.
- You can be fully present in the moment. This can improve the quality of your relationships as well as your ability to perform better at work or in school.
- Your life won’t suddenly become better – but you can become much better prepared to deal with challenges and overcome obstacles.
- You can discover the power of shared support. This includes benefitting from the guidance of others and offering assistance to newer members of the recovery community.
- You can begin to make amends to those you harmed while you were using drugs. You can also get closure from those whose actions had a detrimental impact on you.
- You can be proud of who you are today and who you are in the process of becoming.
Get Sober at LA Detox
When you’re ready to begin your journey toward successful, long-term sobriety, the LA Detox team is here for you. Our center in Los Angeles, California, offers quality addiction treatment services in a safe and welcoming environment. We can assess the full scope of your needs, then develop the customized plan that will put you on the path toward improved health. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.