I Don’t Want To Go To Rehab
Image showing the hell of rehab in Thailand.
The song ‘Rehab‘ by Amy Winehouse tends to resonate strongly with those of us who eventually found our way into treatment. We can remember what it was like to be completely resistant to even the suggestion that we needed that kind of help. We all had our ‘no, no, no..’ period. Along with Amy in the song, there were also many of us who were once convinced, “there’s nothing you can teach me”. It turns out we were wrong, and rehab was exactly what we needed.
Why Don’t You Want to Go to Rehab?
One of the symptoms of addiction is denial (see below), and this means that our resistance to rehab is to be expected. Of course, most of us will be able to come up with more solid and plausible reasons for not going, but it usually turns out that these don’t make much sense given the seriousness of our situation. In the rest of this post we will examine some of the most common reasons we give for not wanting to go to rehab.
Reasons to Not Want to Go to Rehab
Denial – humans have developed psychological defense mechanisms to help us cope with life. One of these is denial that allows us to adjust to bad news over a period of time. Addiction hijacks this defense mechanism so that we don’t realize how bad our situation is. It often takes hitting rock bottom or spending time with a competent therapist to break through this denial.
I will stop tomorrow (what’s the hurry) – The problem with this is that so long as we continue to use drugs we are going to be suffering consequences. In other words, the longer we wait, the more we lose. We may also reach a point where a full recovery is no longer possible (e.g. alcoholic dementia).
Focusing on harm reduction rather than recovery – it is positive to improve our life where we can, but the problem with harm reduction (e.g. methadone maintenance) is it means we are still losing out on a fuller and more satisfying life we could be living. It is like hitting yourself on the head with a hammer. Sure, it is an improvement to reduce from hitting yourself twice a day to once a day, but wouldn’t it be better not to hit with a hammer at all?
“I will relapse again anyway.” It is disappointing to make the effort to change your life and fail, but this is often how it is until one day we succeed (some of us relapsed many times before we finally made it). If this keeps happening we can begin to lose all hope. The secret of success is to be able to bounce back from failures until you make it.
“Don’t believe it will work anyway’ – see above.
“I can control it” (see denial above)
I can go it alone. All of us will have attempted to control or stop using drugs many times before we realized that going it alone was just too hard. As they say, ‘if you keep doing the same things, the same things will keep happening to you’? We need to be honest with ourselves, if we could go it alone, wouldn’t we have quit already?
Fear of the unknown. Everything in our life today was once unknown to us. One of the impacts addiction can have on our mindset is it means we may be willing to put up with a miserable life because of the fear of something new. It is vital to get beyond this fear if we want a better future.
Anxiety about being around other people. It is common for people to feel this way about rehab, but we have this amazing ability to adapt into our surroundings. It is often the people who felt most anxious about joining the community that end up missing it most when it is time to leave.
Family commitments. If we developed serious heart problems, wouldn’t we just have to juggle family commitments so that we got the treatment we needed. Addiction is a serious medical condition that requires treatment. Probably the best thing we can do for our family long-term is to recover.
Not feeling ready – this is based on the misunderstanding that we need to reach a certain point before we can stop. It is sort of like waiting until you feel fit before joining a gym. One of the objectives of rehab is to help you achieve the right mindset.
“People will judge me for going to rehab” – at Hope Rehab Thailand we have a strict anonymity policy. This means that nobody needs to know you have been here unless you want to tell them. It is also important to keep in mind that being caught up in an addiction is far more likely to harm our reputation than getting help for our problems.
“I am not worth it”. This is perhaps the saddest reason for not wanting to go to rehab. One of the symptoms of addiction is self-loathing and low self-esteem. It is vital to ignore than lying inner voice that is telling us that we are living the life we deserve.
“I don’t care” – this sense of not caring about what happens to us or how our actions impact other people is part of the disease of addiction. This way of thinking is not our friend; it is what is keeping us in prison.
Hatred for AA or NA meetings – at Hope Rehab Thailand we offer a range of recovery paths. This means if one path doesn’t work for you, there will be an option that will. Also keep in mind that it is usual to initially feel resistance to AA/NA, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t work for you.
Lack of knowledge about rehab. Misconceptions about rehab can make it sound like a scary place. The reality is very different. Clients at Hope like it here so much that many extend their stay, and some go on to become volunteers or even get jobs here!
Fear of detox. At Hope, we conduct a full assessment on new clients so as to provide a detox plan that will make the process as easy as possible.
AA ‘Big Book’bashing (see I hate AA/NA above)
“I am not that bad” (see denial above)
“I can’t afford it”. Most of us will have spent a small fortune on alcohol or other drugs before we arrived at rehab. Going to rehab is an investment in our future where the benefits far outweigh the costs.
“I don’t like being told what to do (rebellious nature)”. We are unique individuals, and it is important that this is respected, but sometimes we benefit greatly just by listening to what others have to say. Rebelling just for the sake of rebelling is self-defeating and costly.
I can’t take the time off work ( see above: family commitments and I can’t afford it)
“I don’t know how to do it”. If you decide to come to Hope Rehab Thailand, our team will be there to guide you through the entire process.
There will always be a ‘good’ reason not to go to rehab, but this just means we remain stuck in an increasingly painful situation. If you continue to have doubts, a member of our team will be happy to have a chat with you (don’t worry there is no commitment involved – just a chat). Contact us now to find out more.