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As you make the decision to participate in opiate addiction recovery at a methadone clinic, you will suddenly feel overcome by a wave of fear and doubt: Can you trust your counselor? Trust is something that addicts do not come by easily, and they do not inspire it in others, either.
How many people do you trust? Will your dealer give you a fair price for your pills? If you’re doing heroin or speedballing, you have to wonder if the quality will be good. You surely are aware that the family members and friends you have known for years really don’t trust you, either. When you dragged yourself to Aunt Mabel’s birthday party, did you notice all the women tucking their purses away when you entered the room? Think of all the promises you’ve made to your parents or your significant other that have been broken.
Now that you’re beginning treatment, you have to trust your counselor. Most people initially focus on getting their doses and wondering if they’ll work. The idea of trusting your counselor may hit you suddenly, because the idea of trusting anybody is so foreign to you.
So what will you say to this person who is helping you try to achieve your goals of opiate addiction recovery? You can sit there and say nothing, telling yourself that it’s up to the professional to speak first. That’s one thing you don’t really have to worry about: Your counselor will help you develop a treatment plan, and so there will be many questions and answers flying back and forth between you. Before you know it, you’ll be past the awkward stages of guarded silence, and as time goes on you will find ways to tell the counselor things that you never really thought you would say to another person.
You certainly don’t have to worry that the counselor will be shocked by anything you say. He or she has heard just about everything, and the counselor may even be guilty of a few sins of his own. Let him know when something is difficult for you to talk about. If you want to keep a topic off limits for a while, the counselor can help you discover when and how to share it.
We’ll also be talking about what to do if you really disappoint your counselor. Working on recovery will be difficult—but just keep moving forward, one day at a time.