Getting to rehab can be difficult. Where to go? When and how? We are fortunate to live in a time when there are so many options, but in a time of crisis, too many options can be overwhelming. If this is the case for you, you may want to use a referral and placement service that can cut through the confusion and help you along toward your goal.
That is, if you’ve worked out the tangle of thoughts and emotions that even the prospect of going to rehab can cause in your head and heart.
Going to rehab can cause a lot of anxiety even though it is a positive and life-changing event. ‘Rehab anxiety’ is in large measure a result of addiction itself. Addiction ‘speaks’ to the addict’s mind in its “cunning, baffling and powerful” way, creating thoughts, feelings and beliefs that defend it.
Some of the strongest symptoms of addiction are the thinking distortions that come along with it and right when you are ready to go to treatment, your mind may try to convince you that you shouldn’t. The thinking distortions of addiction are ways of looking at yourself, others and the world that protect and support your addiction. They create a mindset that justifies continuing on in active addiction. They like to kick in just about when you’ve decided to take care of your problem and get yourself to rehab. Some thinking distortions that try to protect your addiction and sabotage treatment are:
• Denial—it causes you to not see the facts of addiction and tells you that when others tell you that you have a problem they don’t know what they are talking about. It also tells you that you were wrong all those times you told yourself you have a problem.
• Blaming—this thinking distortion allows you to blame others or something else for your addiction-related problems. By doing so, it convinces you even more that you don’t need to stop using, you can handle it and you aren’t like those people.
• Minimizing—this is the tendency to say oh, it’s not such a big deal. Minimizing convinces you that things are less important than they really are and that everyone is over-reacting when they think you need treatment. It also convinces you that you were over-reacting when you thought you needed treatment.
• Rationalizing and justifying—these thinking distortions convince you that what you do in active addiction is okay, warranted and reasonable. It tells you that others drink and drug, too. That you deserve to have a little something because you work so hard, etc source for thinking errors.
You don’t have to listen to the addiction chatter at you if you’ve decided to go to rehab. You can tune it out like you would any other annoyance. Remember that addiction fights hard to save itself and it will amp up its efforts when recovery comes around. You aren’t your thinking distortions and they are not your final decisions.
Make the call.
Photo by Marie Monroe