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It’s hard enough to admit that you have a problem. It’s harder still to decide it’s time to do something about. There’s always a reason not to. Maybe work is really busy this time of year. Maybe one of your parents is sick and may not recover this time. Perhaps you even think you can deal with your addiction on your own. Quitting cold turkey works for plenty of people, right?
It does for a few people, yes, but those instances are rare. Most people can’t stop drinking or doing drugs without some outside support, and that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with that. No one should have to fight addiction alone.
It’s very tough to admit to yourself that you need help. You should be commended for even making it that far; many addicts just can’t get there because they don’t want to. However, you shouldn’t stop there. As soon as you realize you have an addiction that needs to be addressed, it’s time to start researching different rehabilitation facilities and figuring out which one might be right for you.
Some people struggling with addiction can get the help they need through outpatient treatment, but many people find that going to a facility for a few weeks helps them really stay focused on beating the beast, regardless of if that beast is alcohol, cocaine, meth, painkillers, or some other substance. It’s important to talk with doctors and addiction experts to fully explore your options. However, you should also be ready to make a decision as soon as you feel like you have enough information. You don’t necessarily have to pack a bag, kiss your spouse and kids goodbye, and walk out the door to rehab tonight, but you shouldn’t wait for the “perfect” time either. In many cases, there is no perfect time. Don’t neglect your loved ones, but life is always going to be at least a little hectic.
Work may be trickier, but see if you’re eligible to take some time off under the Family Medical Leave Act. That will allow you to get the care you need without sacrificing your job and sense of financial stability.
There’s another risk that comes with waiting too long to get help: You may convince yourself that things really aren’t so bad after all. Sure, you drink sometimes. Life is hard. It doesn’t mean you have a problem, does it? You’re fine, right? Right?
Not right. Think of life as a car trip. What would happen if your vision suddenly went blurry as you were driving down the freeway? You probably wouldn’t keep driving and tell yourself it was fine, would you? Not unless you wanted to risk killing yourself or someone else. No, you’d probably pull over and try to make an emergency appointment to get your eyes checked out and see what went wrong. Drug and alcohol abuse is like driving blind: You may be able to get away with it for a little while, but it’s still incredibly dangerous.
If you’re worried about not being present in your family’s life, think of how present you are now. Is your family your first priority, or are you too busy thinking about your next chance to get a drink? Addiction has a way of blocking out everything that’s not related to getting high or drunk. Have an honest conversation with your loved ones, and you may be surprised to find that they haven’t considered you “all there” for a while now. Rehab won’t fix everything overnight. The journey to recovery is a long one, which means there’s no time like the present to get started.