Why There’s No Shame in Returning to Treatment

12 Mar, 2021

If you return to treatment after already having been there once, it can feel like a tremendous failure. However, it may also feel like a last resort solution to problems that have been continuous throughout a long period. The societal stigma of entering a residential treatment program for one period is already tremendous; going to treatment more than one time can feel like a mistake to those who fear judgment from those close to them. However, if you require a level of care that can only be provided by a residential program and feel you have no choice but to return to your initial treatment facility, the only person who’s shaming you for this, in the long run, is you. Once you feel your life can change for the better thanks to a residential treatment program, your fear of judgment will fade to memory and no longer be of relevance to you.

There’s More to Learn

The most significant blockage a person typically experiences when considering returning to a residential treatment program is that they have already learned all they can learn from that experience. While the initial experience one has in residential treatment could undoubtedly be considered the most meaningful, returning to your memories from that experience is not advisable when cultivating the most meaningful experience you can from later visits. Sometimes, it is difficult to decide how to approach your past experience with residential treatment after deciding to return and reconcile that the treatment did not “work.” In these times, it is essential to remember that recovery is a process, and the trajectory of your recovery may have to be supplemented by multiple stays at residential.

Discovering New Motivation

During your initial treatment stay, what you may have processed during that experience might not have been as significant and meaningful as what your feelings developed into, later on, demanding that you process them at a higher and more grueling level in treatment again. This is usually what happens when people enter treatment more than once. A pattern develops when someone finds themselves approaching incredibly difficult emotions in an environment designed exclusively for doing so. After having the experience more than once, you may find the feelings dug up by that experience can only be processed by repeating it.

This process is nothing to be ashamed of, and of course, there are endless other reasons that one may decide to re-enter residential treatment. For another, an individual may have discovered that their life had become unmanageable to a point where treatment has once again become the only option. If one’s choices have come to an end where they have to choose between making their life better and remaining in misery, they might as well choose the path that makes them more content in life, regardless of the circumstances.

Overcoming Judgment From Loved Ones

The most significant inhibitor of people’s choosing to return to residential treatment is most likely fear of family and friends’ judgment. Believing that the most important people in your life will fear for your wellbeing to the degree that may make you feel like you are doing a disservice to them is undoubtedly a problem. There is no real way to get around the fact that when you are engaging in services meant to improve your life, the only way to convince the people you fear may be judging you for it is to approach them. By doing this, you are constructing a straightforward narrative of allowing yourself to be in control of your life and not letting other people force you to judge yourself. One of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have in treatment is regaining their sense of autonomy, which can often feel stripped away by traumatizing life occurrences, symptoms of a mental illness, or simply the struggle of having to deal with a co-occurring disorder.

Deciding What’s Best For YOU

Ultimately, returning to treatment after your first stay can feel like a personal failure. It doesn’t have to feel that way under any circumstances, however. Knowing that what you are doing by reentering treatment is absolutely what is the best decision for your life can feel extremely rewarding, especially when you take into consideration how much better your life will be after you’ve been discharged. You may have the idea that you are stuck in a loop continually leading you back to treatment; however, the goal of treatment is for you to manage life sober and independently. The amount of times it takes for you to accomplish this is pertinent to your full but non-linear recovery.


Returning to treatment after an initial stay can be very frightening. Therefore, it is wagered as a difficult decision when individuals may already feel as though they have accomplished a lot throughout their first experience at a residential treatment program. There are, however, many benefits to reevaluating what additional stays at residential can do for you. There is a lot to consider in the context of someone returning to treatment, their initial experience at treatment included. Without knowing what each stay at a residential facility might hold for you and the state of your wellbeing, it may be daunting to consider that you must enter into residential treatment more than one time. For help managing recovery after residential treatment, Sober Life can help. At Sober Life, we are committed to providing intensive, individualized care that enables you to get and stay sober. Our services offer necessary continued support to patients to make sure they fully recover. For more information on our services, call us today at (619) 542-9542.

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Attending a rehab center can help you get your life back. There are many different kinds of treatment, so it’s important to do your homework and find a program that fits your needs. This way, you have the best chance at living a sober, healthy life. Get in touch with the best substance abuse treatment in San Diego with Sober Life.

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