Addicts: You are signing up for feeling uncomfortable

When you’re thinking about what a mess you’ve made of your life, you need to know one thing: Getting sober isn’t going to be comfortable.

Addiction treatment is supposed to be help you come to grips with life’s everyday miseries without using drugs. You are going to learn how to walk through feelings you haven’t felt before and how to work against your impulses.

When you are undergoing treatment for drug addiction, you are going to become agitated, irritable, restless and discontent.

Modern treatment isn’t helping. From the moment you walk in the door of a rehab, everything is about pleasing you. But change is uncomfortable and getting sober shouldn’t be pleasing. There are all kind of powers that be pulling you in different directions—making you believe you should be comfortable and familiar.

I’ve always had two rules: If you want to stay, you need to go; if you want to go, you need to stay.

Treatment isn’t about making your uncomfortable feelings go away with an Ativan or a trip to the beach. These are the compromising things that modern treatment does to de-escalate the reality of your situation and encourage you to stay in rehab.

Instead a good rehab center will challenge you to move out of your comfort zone so you can learn how to cope and get to the root cause of why you medicate yourself all the time.

Trust me, I’ve kicked heroin at the Waldorf Astoria and at the LA county jail. There is no difference. You are not sitting there appreciating how beautiful the room and the view is. You’re going to be a miserable, anxious asshole throwing up all over the place.

I don’t care where you go to get drug treatment, whether it’s a fancy house in Malibu or inner-city detox, as long as they are treating you correctly. And most are not. Instead they are giving away a pill for everything, anti-psychotics and heavy sedatives to numb you from feeling anything. You aren’t learning how to live with uncomfortable feelings.

Addicts, know this. If you’re contemplating going to rehab for drug treatment, you’re signing up for feeling uncomfortable, facing your fears, feeling overwhelming feelings— and it will be tremendously rewarding learning that they pass away.

Understand that on the other side of those uncomfortable feeling is insight, peace of mind and satisfaction.

Don’t sacrifice your sobriety – possibly your life – just to get away from uncomfortable or uncertain feelings.

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