When it comes to addiction and recovery from addiction, many people simply do not understand it. Those with no experience of addiction rarely comprehend that it is an illness and, therefore, they have misconceptions about it. These misconceptions can be harmful as they often prevent people suffering from addiction from getting the help they need out of a sense of shame or embarrassment. They are also responsible for making some addicts think they do not have a problem.
However, there are many myths relating to addiction recovery that can also be dangerous for those trying to get better. Many recovering addicts may be given bad advice from well-meaning family members and friends on the back of a myth that they believe is fact. Lots of recovering addicts will lose hope because of things they have seen or heard regarding recovery.
Typical Recovery Myths
There are many myths surrounding addiction recovery. Below are just a few of the more common ones:
Relapse is Inevitable
While it is true that many individuals in recovery do relapse, countless do not. For some people, relapse is a part of the recovery process because when they do relapse, they realise that they really do not want to drink or take drugs anymore. It can be a powerful motivator to stay clean for good. Nevertheless, not every recovering addict has to experience relapse to have a successful recovery; many complete programmes of detoxification, rehabilitation and aftercare and go on to live clean, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Recovery is Boring
This is one of the main reasons so many addicts continue with their destructive behaviour. Despite the fact that they know how damaging their behaviour is, they would rather live in the grip of addiction than live a boring existence. They may have been told that they will have nothing to do in recovery and that their lives will not be worth living. Nonetheless, this could not be further from the truth. Many people in recovery will say that their lives did not truly begin until they got sober. They will develop new hobbies and learn how to have fun without worrying about what they did the night before or whether they said anything to offend anyone else.
It is Necessary to Hit Rock Bottom
Many people do not understand what rock bottom means. It is simply the point at which an addict believes he or she can go no lower and that they are now ready to accept help. It does not mean that the person with the addiction has to lose everything before he or she can get help. Some addicts are under the impression that just because they still have a job or a home that they are not ready for rehab. This is not true. Some individuals will reach a point in their addiction when they have had enough while others will continue with their destructive behaviour to the point where they do lose everything. Rock bottom is different for everyone.
Once in Recovery, All Your Problems will be Solved
Although many of an addicts problems will go away when he or she stops drinking or taking drugs, many problems will not go away that quickly. For example, relationship problems will not just disappear because the addict is no longer drinking or taking drugs. Financial problems will not suddenly become a thing of the past. Yet, with a clearer head and an improved attitude towards life, these are problems that can be worked at by all involved.
Remember that the recovery process is not an instant fix. It is a long road and takes patience and a lot of effort. Nonetheless, it is something that will improve your quality of life and the life of those around you.