Facing My Addiction: Taking the Plunge (pt. 3)
Today is the day.
Today, I will report to the hospital for an assessment of my alcoholism. If there are no surprises, I will be admitted for a two-week stay. I will finally face my alcoholism in the hopes of getting it back into remission.
I have three major fears that I am facing in doing this. I am facing my fear of failure, my fear of sobriety, and my fear of hospitals.
Fear One: Failure
I'll be honest--I'm afraid I'll have an alcohol relapse the second I get out of alcoholism rehab. All of my friends and family drink, and I live in the middle of a neighborhood with ample opportunities to get alcohol. But it helps me feel better knowing that a fear like that is normal.
Fear can be a healthy emotion for sobriety. If you're afraid of relapse, you'll take extra steps to avoid it. If you take extra steps to avoid it, it'll be easier in the long run to stay sober. Well, "easier" may not be the right word, but it is an extra bullet in your gun in the battle against substance abuse. That in and of itself should be reason for hope.
I also realize that my fear of failure is illogical, because there's no such thing as failure in sobriety--only setbacks. We always have a second chance. We just have to take it.
Fear Two: Sobriety
You may be wondering "How can you be afraid of sobriety?" It's really more a fear of the unknown. The best way I heard this phrased was "I want to move out of Hell, but I stay because I know all the streets there." In other words, better the devil you know than the devil you don't.
Sobriety will be difficult; that's why support groups such as AA are mandatory in the struggle. I have to decide that sobriety is worth any cost. I have to set my goal as sobriety and live it out one day at a time.
I've done it before. I was sober from 2008 until 2011. If I've done it before, I can certainly do it again. I need to remind myself of that, then take my next three or more years one day at a time.
Sobriety is a journey, not a destination. I have to remember that and stay on the path. I have to face roadblocks as they come and conquer them using skills I will learn in treatment. I will have to focus on the journey and remind myself of my goals--to stop drinking and gambling. I will have to concentrate on sobriety in order to stay sober
Fear Three: Hospitals
I'll be honest: I hate hospitals. Rehab will be difficult in part because of this fear. Making it especially difficult will be my memories of a four-month stay at the dual diagnosis unit at Richmond State Hospital. Short version: I was abused while I was there. My physical illnesses and my mental illness went virtually untreated, I was cussed at on one occasion, and I was threatened with retaliation if I reported any of the mistreatment. There was a joke that Richmond would drive you to drinking.
Is it any wonder I'm afraid of rehab? As we say, "Once bitten, twice shy."
I try to remind myself that this hospital is different. The staff is different, the program is different, and people have had positive things to say about treatment there. My psychiatrist has assured me that the program there is well-managed and that it won't be a repeat of my last stint in rehab. I have just as many reasons to be optimistic as I do to be afraid.
Taking the plunge
So here I go. I have nothing to lose but pain and a better life to gain. I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
See you in two weeks.
Facing My Addiction: How Will BPD Impact My Treatment? (pt. 1)
Facing My Addiction: Overcoming the Past (pt. 2)
Facing My Addiction: Taking the Plunge (pt. 3)
Facing My Addiction: Where To Now? (pt. 4)
Oberg, B. (2012, October 23). Facing My Addiction: Taking the Plunge (pt. 3), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/borderline/2012/10/facing-my-addiction-taking-the-plunge-pt-3
Author: Becky Oberg
Thanks for your story. I have once put myself into hospital for detox, 3 weeks. It wasn't uncomfortable but one nurse took it upon herself to make a report and they took my license away. I have relapsed and I am now being told," this is it, do something about it"' so i have decided on self help and gain support from people in my situation, reading blogs and articles like yourself, I'm reading your story and I'm not in it alone. I wish you all the strength as I will need and look forward to reading your progress.
Thank you. I'm sorry you lost your license. I wish you well in your recovery.
Good for you for taking a big step, I'm sure it's not easy but you are strong and courageous.
I'm going to miss reading your blog, I wish you well and hope to see you back soon.
Good luck! I went into the hospital for detox and refeeding (I write Surviving ED, and I wrote several posts about my struggles with alcoholism/prescription drug abuse and anorexia in December.) I found the hospital to be very helpful in breaking the cycle of drinking.
I was placed on Antabuse and Revia to aid me in my recovery; perhaps that is also an option for you? It has really helped me stay sober and drug-free. I have had mixed results with AA, but that may be because of the particular groups available in my area.
I wish you well, and if you would like to e-mail me privately for support, my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.