The disease of alcoholism or drug addiction can certainly take a toll on an addict and an addict’s loved ones. Choosing to attend an alcohol or drug rehab center isn’t always an easy decision, and can bring on some anxiety. In addition, telling your loved ones that you’re going to get drug treatment can bring on even more anxiety.
Fears and concerns may arise wondering how they will react to your decision to enter rehab. You may fear that you’ll lose some of your friends. You may fear that you will be ridiculed or people won’t believe that you are serious. You might start second-guessing yourself and wonder if you are making the right decision. You want support from your loved ones, but knowing how to tell them may be challenging.
Regardless of any anxiety or concerns that you have, try to hold onto hope that you’re doing something good for yourself, and even if people don’t understand right now, someday they will. It’s understandable to want everyone’s support, but the reality is you may not get it right now. There may have been bridges burned and people hurt during your active addiction, and it will take them time to forgive and begin mending that bridge. The following are some tips to consider as you move forward with the intent to inform your loved ones of your decision to enter drug rehab treatment.
The old phrase, “Honesty is the best policy” is helpful. Sit down and have an honest and open heart to heart conversation with your loved ones. You can do this individually or you can gather them together to inform them of your news. Even if there are one or more that question your motives or don’t believe you’re serious, stay true to yourself and speak your truth confidently. This is your journey, and right now do your best to stay focused on you and your recovery. Eventually, they’ll have the opportunity to see you make serious changes for the better in your life.
Think about what you’re going to say to your loved ones before you even sit down with them to have a conversation. Or, practice your conversation with someone close to you. You may even want to make a list of things that you’d like to say and bring that with you when you have the conversation with your loved ones. This way, you won’t forget what you want to say, as sometimes anxiety can cause one to forget.
Resist the temptation to justify
If you encounter those who question your decision to enter rehab, resist the temptation to go on justifying yourself and your reasons. Simply tell them this is the choice that you have made because you believe it will help you, and you’ve made this commitment to yourself. You may run into a loved one who perhaps likes to party with you, and the thought of you going to rehab may cause them to feel like they’re going to lose you in that aspect. Keep in mind that in such a case, you can be an inspiration to them by keeping true to your word.
Be open to support
When you sit down with your loved ones, let them know that you’re open for their support during your stay at the drug rehab center. It’s much easier to attend rehab knowing that you have the love and support of your loved ones back home. Even if they’re not thrilled about your attendance, let them know that it is important to you that they have your back, as it can certainly help you in your recovery.
Telling your children
It can be quite anxiety-provoking to think about sitting down and telling your children that you’re heading off to a drug rehab center. Your children might not even know that you have an alcohol or drug addiction. The best thing you can do is sit down and have an honest conversation with them about the disease of addiction and your willingness to recover from it. Let them know exactly where you’re going, for how long, and explain to them the process of addiction treatment. Let them ask any questions that they have and answer them to the best of your ability.
Let your children know that by getting drug treatment, you’ll be able to become a better parent. Sometimes children will think that they are to blame somehow. Assure your children that it is in no way their fault for your addiction or your decision to leave home to attend treatment.
You may even want to get a calendar and mark the days in which you will be gone and the day that you will come home. If the rehab allows telephone calls or texting, assure your children that they can reach you in that way anytime and that you’ll stay in touch with them as best as you can. You may even be able to write them letters and send them in the mail.
Rejoice in your decision
Going away to a drug rehab center is a wonderful decision that can benefit your life greatly. Rejoice in your decision to begin a recovery program and better your life, not allowing anxiety or fear to take that away from you. Yes, it can be challenging to face your loved ones with your decision, but most likely they will be glad that you are serious about making the effort to get clean or sober.
Take the time to prepare for your absence as well, talking to those people who may be taking over some of your responsibilities while you’re gone. If you’re children seem to be struggling with your decision, consider getting them help concerning the matter. There are counselors that can assist them in understanding better the dynamics of what is going on. If your children are teenagers, there is a support group for teens called Al-Ateen that they can attend that will help them as they navigate life as a loved one of a recovering alcoholic or addict.
Congratulations on your decision to attend a drug rehab center. This marks the opportunity to become free from addiction and go on creating just the kind of life you desire. The disease of addiction is treatable, and you’re on your way to being freed from the bonds of the prison of addiction, and that should feel pretty good.