One of the first discoveries that you’ll make in addiction treatment is that most people who go to rehab have already started the process of working on getting better on some level. Although I wasn’t fully ready to admit it in the worst days of my addiction, I was already actively working on trying to control my substance misuse.
Little did I know that it is common for people to try multiple methods of controlling their addiction before they admit the need for help. The problem with all those gimmicks is that they don’t usually work because they are all aimed at fixing things on a surface level. Addiction recovery goes much deeper than simply switching from hard liquor to drinks with a lower alcohol content.
If you recognize yourself trying a few of these things I tried before coming to rehab, then it is quite likely that you could speed up the process of getting sober by seeking professional help.
- switching from liquor to beer
- using naturally grown drugs instead of prescription pain meds
- drinking a glass of water between drinks to slow down my drinking
- going cold turkey, which just led to binges
- only drinking or using drugs after five o’clock in the afternoon
After I realized that my family and friends were catching on to my inability to control my drinking and drug use, I started taking steps to hide the problem. I’d avoid drinking at weddings and social events, which I thought would help me avoid losing control. Unfortunately, I’d just go home and end up making it all up by diving into my stash all alone. I also tried the old “switch things up” trick. Naturally, it just made sense that I’d stay more sober if I chose drinks with a lower alcohol content.
This plan quickly backfired when I realized that I’d just end up drinking more to make up the difference. I also tried switching from harder drugs to marijuana. But, I always wound up going back to my old habits when I didn’t get the results I craved. Back then, all of those little efforts towards getting sober just made me feel like a failure. After going to rehab, I now realize that I wasn’t a loser with no willpower. Each time I tried and failed to get sober on my own was a sign that all I needed was a little bit of outside help.
Give Up the Gimmicks By Going to Rehab
While I’m mentioning a few of the tricks I tried, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to give you ideas. I’m simply hoping that you’ll see that all of those tricks people will tell you help just don’t work in the end. Instead, nursing my drinks or using a different type of drug only delayed my recovery. In some ways, a few of my DIY strategies only made my addiction worse. Binging after doing “so good” for a day or two is a huge risk for having an overdose. Fortunately, I made it through all of my attempts to get sober on my own and eventually threw in the towel and went to rehab. When I first enrolled in a treatment program, I honestly didn’t think it would work. After years of struggling to stop on my own, it was hard to believe that I had any willpower.
But after a few days in rehab, I began to learn that it didn’t matter how hard I tried to quit using on my own. The reason why none of my efforts worked is because there were deeper reasons for why I drank and used drugs that went far beyond just liking to party. With help from my treatment team, I began to open up to my counselors and the other people in my group therapy sessions. Finally being able to talk about my depression and other mental health challenges felt like a whole new level of freedom that even getting high couldn’t match. Hearing other people talk about their challenges with addiction also made it clear that I wasn’t a failure. Drugs and alcohol create chemical changes in the brain that require time and counseling to correct.
Sheer willpower alone is just not enough to overcome the need for professional treatment. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself sooner that going to rehab is worth the effort and that I am so much stronger than I ever thought. Since I can’t change my past self’s decision to wait, I’m hoping this message makes it to you. If you’ve tried to quit and couldn’t, you’re not a failure. Instead, that’s just your body trying to let you know that you’ll begin to heal the moment that you reach out for help. The recovery process takes time, but you can do it. Are you done with trying all the tricks and gimmicks? We know how hard it is to ask for help, so we’ve made it easier. Give our caring team a call at 833-846-5669 to find a more effective solution for starting your recovery.