The process of overcoming addiction and participating in a detox program can be exhausting. There is so much education and clinical jargon that it can be discouraging to continue recovery. In order to have hope for sobriety, sometimes we need to look through the fog of the protocols, medical terms and long list of symptoms and imagine how life would look on the other side of addiction.

Having knowledge about addiction is important for making informed decisions, but in the long run the things we really care about are going to be the factors that motivate us to change, not a list of statistics.

Addiction is personal, and the journey of detox and recovery can make us question what we really value in life. Here are some personal questions you might have asked yourself and ways to find answers to life’s big questions.

What will people think of me if I start detox?

Wondering what people will think about us could hold us back from anything, if we let it. People may have varying opinions on your desire to get sober. Some might be proud of you, some will be indifferent and some may look down on you.

There will be people who have negative opinions of you for entering detox, but they may simply be trying to cover their own pain. They may be jealous that you had the strength to seek help when they didn’t or they may feel that you’ll judge them if they are using themselves.

The vast majority of people will support you and admire you for taking a difficult step. It may be hard to talk about for your family and friends, so don’t assume their silence means disapproval. Consider whether these fears come from your own feelings about starting detox.

Can I get back to the life I had before drugs and alcohol?

There is no simple answer to this question. Addiction changes a person. Chemicals in drugs and alcohol have rewired pathways in your brain and adjusted your mind’s reward system, maybe for life. Along with physical changes, you have experienced things that will linger in your memory and impact you emotionally for years to come.

Despite your changed body and mind, you can still find tremendous purpose and satisfaction in life. In fact, there’s no reason you can’t lead a life that’s more meaningful than before your addiction. A history with substances may even give you a sense of purpose, like if you decide to become a substance use counselor.

There are numerous things you can do to restore and heal as you overcome addiction. Relationships can be renewed or rekindled as you apologize to those affected. You can find a stable and rewarding career. You can find treatment for any mental health concerns or past trauma, to pursue the possibility of a free and full life.

Will people forgive me?

As with the rest of life, forgiveness depends a lot of how you apologize. For some, the damage may feel irreparable, but people will recognize a sincere apology and often appreciate the gesture even if they are not ready to extend forgiveness.

We can’t force others to accept an apology, but offering one anyways is sometimes all the liberation we need. If others hold onto resentment, that affects them more than it does us. Learn to offer forgiveness and accept that others will make their own choice.

Making amends can sometimes be necessary to an apology. For example, if you borrowed money to fuel your addiction, slowly paying someone back could be an important part of your apology. You’ll know when your apology needs to be accompanied by a gesture, and if someone doesn’t forgive you instantly, you may want to consider what’s owed to them as recompense for their pain.

People will forgive you on their own terms. Asking for forgiveness is sometimes the only power we have, but it can be freeing to take even that step.

What if I fail?

There’s no denying that there’s always a looming fear of failure in sobriety. Not only is the addiction chemically ingrained into your brain, but you might be surrounded by triggers to use even after you successfully complete a detox program. 

Building support systems and engaging in treatment can help you, but sometimes people do fall back into substance use, and that doesn’t mean it’s the end of their journey. Consider that slipping back into usage isn’t a failure, it’s a setback.

Any step you take in the right direction shows progress, even if the process seems never-ending. Using substances again may knock you off the tracks, but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. Returning to detox multiple times shows a firm desire for recovery, not a weakness.

In drug and alcohol recovery, you’ll come face to face with what really matters in life. You’ll be challenged, but your true character will shine through when you make those tough decisions to stay on the path to sobriety. Your life will open up before your eyes and you’ll get a taste of that freedom you deserve.

Visit Pyramid Walden to get help in the management of substance use habits. Professional and welcoming therapists will walk with you, through meaningful treatment in a comfortable setting. Call (301) 997-1300 today, to launch your path toward recovery.