In today’s society, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by stigmas and fads or become concerned with how people might perceive you as a result of your addiction. People will always have opinions, and there will always be others to compare yourself to. However, finding the will to seek treatment despite what others may think can be challenging. It is time to find the strength to depress this fear and feel confident in knowing you are worthy of living the life you desire, free from drugs and alcohol.
The Stigma Behind Addiction
Alcoholism or drug addiction comes with a laundry list of stigmas passed down by generations and even depicted in the media today. Inaccurate or incomplete portrayals of what being an individual who struggles with addiction entails fill movies, sitcoms, and books. These depictions can lead to significant societal and even medical judgment. Those with no knowledge of or experience with substance abuse may think that refraining is a simple choice and those who fall victim to addiction are weak or negligent.
The Effect of Stigma
These stigmas can be discouraging and make reaching out for help seem to be more trouble than it is worth. Knowing the perception others may develop of you for admitting that you are struggling with addiction can be a significant barrier to seeking treatment. Receiving help could even mean enlightening someone or many people you care about about the reality of your disease. All too commonly, the perception of those we care most about prevents us from seeking the treatment we really need.
Drowning Out the Noise
You may feel overwhelmed and silenced by your fear of what others will think when they learn of your choice to seek treatment. What will your coworkers think when you stop showing up for work? They might make false assumptions or even accurate ones. What will your family members think when they hear the news? Maybe they already knew of your struggles, or maybe they had no idea and now feel differently about you. What about your friends? Will you lose friends as a result of seeking treatment? These worries are undoubtedly valid and perhaps could become a reality as a result of your decision to seek help.
However, while these possible consequences sound daunting, it is more important now than ever to ignore these voices of concern and focus on what is best for your life long term. Making the decision to seek treatment will allow you to overcome your battles with drugs or alcohol and will change your own perception of yourself. This opinion of you – your own – is far more important than the stigma-riddled perceptions of society.
Putting Yourself First
Feeling the guilt and shame your addiction may have caused can create a lot of uncertainty and lead to low self-worth. Knowing what you should be doing and knowing you have not been doing it can take a toll. You may feel as though you have let many people down and fear that seeking treatment will be the final straw for many relationships. However, putting yourself first by seeking treatment and pursuing recovery will allow for better relationships, jobs, and experiences in the future.
Realizing you are worthy of treatment is the first step. This can be hard to grasp if perhaps you have been ridiculed for your inability to make a change in the past, or perhaps you have been your own toughest critic. You owe it to yourself to be the very best version of yourself. Inadvertently, others will appreciate this change too. While there may be some judgment and negativity initially, there will be such a sense of pride in your recovery. Most importantly, you will be proud of yourself.
Positive Self Talk
Now that you have come to terms with your worth, maintaining that positive self-image requires continued practice. Remaining on track to pursue treatment may come with a few doubts along the way and maybe even some fears about what others are saying or thinking. Remember the end goal. Your recovery is more important than any negative opinion or judgment. You may care deeply for those you think have developed a negative perception of you, but you must prioritize your progress.
Seeking treatment is a huge decision and one that those who matter most will support and encourage. Good or bad, the opinions of others are secondary to this next chapter. You matter most. Your recovery matters most. You are worthy of treatment and worthy of a life filled with joy and satisfaction.
Knowing others will judge and potentially perceive you in a negative light can be a significant barrier to seeking treatment. When these concerns rear their heads, you must remember that your recovery is most important. Others will always have opinions of you, addiction or not. Prioritize yourself and recognize that you are worthy of treatment and can have the life you have always dreamed of. Here at Renaissance Ranch, we will help you continue to realize your worth by prioritizing you and your journey to recovery. With our programs developed to involve family members and other loved ones, we will help you maintain confidence in yourself and assurance that you are supported in your decision to live a life of sobriety. Let us help you overcome your battles and exceed expectations. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.