“It’s too late for me.”
People believe myths surrounding a lot of things, but myths about sobriety and recovery can be especially damaging. These myths unfortunately can lead people with a drug and alcohol problem to feel like there is no point in trying to get sober, and because of this, some fail to even try to get better. If you’re considering doing something about your drug/alcohol use, and you feel that it’s too late for you to change your life, it’s not. Sure, you may have already spent a good portion of your life addicted to alcohol or drugs, and as a result, have made lots mistakes on the way.
The truth is, no matter how old you are, you can still choose to get clean and sober—you can still take control of your life! It’s never too late to live the life that you have always wanted to live and leave behind the chains of addiction.
There are many myths going around about addiction, but this one is an especially harmful one because it truly can make a person feel as if there is no way out—as if they have missed the train and won’t get another chance. Erase this thought in your mind today and embrace the fact that people of all ages have successfully begun recovering from drugs and alcohol.
“I won’t be able to have any fun.”
The number one offender, when it comes to myths of sobriety, is the myth of being unable to have any fun. This myth is just completely false. For one, if drug and alcohol addiction is already taking a significant toll on your life to the point where you are seeking help, then it’s likely that drug and alcohol use isn’t even that fun anymore when you look at the consequences associated with it.
Getting clean and sober can help open your eyes to see the world in a way that maybe you haven’t in a long time. Addiction tends to cause isolation, despair, and constant problems. That doesn’t really sound fun, does it? Consider this: getting sober can help you live life again. Many people start taking care of their physical health —going out to do outdoor activities, saving the money that would normally be used on alcohol and drugs to go on vacations, or just hanging out with a group of fun people.
You don’t have to use drugs and alcohol to have fun. In fact, it seems that life is better, and moments are sincerer when you’re sober. Not to mention that when you have sober fun, it’s not usually followed by a morning of regret.
“Getting Sober is too Expensive”
A lot of the time when people say this, they’re referring to the costs of treatment without insurance. While treatment can be costly, even if you had to foot the bill yourself, it will help to save you money in the long run.
Consider for a second that you have a current drug habit of $60 a day. Well, that’s almost $22,000 a year that’s being thrown in the drain and if you’re like most, you’ll go to any lengths to acquire the money needed to feed your daily habit. If you also consider and factor in the long-term costs associated with alcohol and drug use, you’ll find that trips to the hospital due to sickness or overdose, as well as potential legal fees that are incurred due to legal trouble will eventually surpass any money that you may spend getting the treatment you need and deserve.
Once you do get sober and begin living in recovery, you’ll be able to stop throwing away money on drugs and alcohol, and try to save up for things that matter, like a new home, car, or even going on vacation. In the end, choosing to get treatment and choosing the sober life is the fiscally responsible choice. However, if you have medical insurance, there are plenty of options available at little to no cost to you.
“I’ll lose my job and/or family if I go to treatment”
If you’re worried about losing your job or the potential of issues that could come up with your family if you go to treatment, then consider this: What is going to happen in the long run if you continue in the cycle of addiction? Remember, addiction is a progressive disease that gets worse over time without intervention.
Whatever consequences you’re feeling now as a result of your drug and/or alcohol use, it can and will get worse as long as you stall on making the decision to get help. Eventually, without help, you could lose your family and your job, guaranteed. When it comes to your job, the best thing you can do is start communicating with your employer about what is going on. Some employers are more understanding than others, but you may actually be pleasantly surprised to find that your employer will agree to allow you to come back after your treatment. Even if you do lose your job, think about the fact that there is a high chance of you losing it anyway if you don’t get help for your problem.
As far as family: communication is key. If not everyone in your family knows about the problem, you may want to consider opening up and telling the truth. Hopefully, your family will be happy to hear you are getting help and support you through the process.
“I can only get sober by joining a 12-Step program”
One of the most common myths about sobriety is that you can only get sober through the 12-Steps; many people who attend 12-Step programs will even tell you this themselves. Fortunately, it’s just not true.
Getting sober and beginning the life of recovery is never a one-size-fits all ordeal. What works for one person, may not work for you. Getting honest about what your own recovery needs are and finding the best way to meet them goes a long way. While 12-Step meetings certainly help a lot of people, it does not work for some, and that’s okay.
The good news is that there are other alternatives to 12-Step programs, including SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery is worth looking into as it a science-based program that many people choose as an alternative to 12-Step programs.
There are also recovery coaches, online recovery communities, and many other alternatives that you can choose to help you in your recovery. For more alternatives, reach out to the people in the recovery community around you, or do a quick internet search. Help is out there for you. All you have to do is look.