Overcoming Fear in Addiction Recovery
Addiction is something that keeps us fixated in unhealthy patterns, yet the gripping fear that often comes with facing our addictions and living in recovery entails can be enough to make addiction seem pretty enticing. Overcoming addiction and living through the recovery process is a huge change to the life the person in recovery is used to. And as we all know, change can be a very scary thing indeed.
The fear that comes with addiction recovery is very real. Facing the things we’ve done while addicted is not easy, and the shame that accompanies the fear in recovery can be enough to make someone seriously question their decision to get clean. A big part of recovery is facing the things you did while under the influence of whatever your drug of choice might have been. Although each addiction is different, the results are pretty much always the same. We do things we regret.
There is a cycle within recovery that deeply exemplifies the feeling of fear, shame, and regret. Every bad decision we’ve made tends to come up and the feeling facing what we’ve done now that we’re sober can be seriously frightening. No one wants to look at the ways they let their addiction ruin their lives, but it is unfortunately a very real part of the recovery process and something each recovering addict is bound to face.
Overcoming these negative feelings can be done and there’ve been millions of addicts who have successfully moved through them to go onto to live happy and fulfilling lives. It is possible and working to defeat these feelings that are part of the many faceted layers that accompany addiction will be tremendous to the entire recovery process.
Here we will look at ways to overcome the fear that is present in so many recovering addicts. It’s a vital step in recovery and when faced will change the way you see your life forever. Overcoming fear can be an extremely empowering action and conquering and releasing fear can open up worlds you never knew existed.
If recovery didn’t come with gripping fear it wouldn’t be so hard to get sober. The fear that recovering addicts face can be found at all stages of recovery and it can seem that it’s all but impossible to move through. Running from the fear you’re facing will only make it worse. It can also be a huge trigger for relapse.
Whether you’re in the beginning stages of recovery and fear the unknown world of sobriety or are in recovery and fear relapse, this fear is a huge component of living this new uncertain life. Many recovering addicts fear reaching out for the support they so desperately need, terrified of the rejection they may face when looking toward people that once believed in them.
There’s also the fear of losing the person you were. It’s easy to become anxious and apprehensive during recovery when you don’t even know who you are anymore. The alcoholic that was outgoing and social may become withdrawn and socially awkward when sober. Looking at who we are without our addictions can be really, really scary.
Overcoming fear in the recovery process can be done. Try incorporating some of the following tips into your current recovery process to find the solace you need in a sea of fear and anxiety.
Tips to Overcome Fear During Recovery
• Accept Where You Are
Until you accept where you’re at you are going to continue to live in the fear that sends thoughts of relapse dancing through your head. Where you are is not where you were. The only moment you have is now and the sooner you realize this, the sooner you will be able to let go of the regrets of the past and the fear of an unknown future. Accept where you are and do what you can to remain grounded in the present moment.
• Seek Support
If you think you’re going to get through the fears of addiction on your own, you might want to think again. Recovery can be a very frightening and lonely place to be. It’s a new world full of new situations and feeling that were not at all a part of your past life as an addict. Whether it’s in group recovery meetings, in personal therapy with a licensed professional, or from a friend or family member getting support is a vital part of recovery and will help you to more easily process your personal fears by taking about them with a trusted confidant.
• Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can be an excellent way to move through the fear that is a given part of recovery. It might feel odd at first but once you get used to replacing the negative thoughts in your mind with positive affirmations you move closer toward the freedom that awaits you. Five powerful positive affirmations that you can use to overcome fear are:
1. I use fear to empower me. I see fear as nothing more than a motivating force when it shows up in my life.
2. I have the power to choose one thought over another. I choose to replace each negative thought with a counterbalancing positive thought instead.
3. I have made it through more difficult experiences than what is happening now. I have the strength to face this fear and release it for good.
4. Before me is endless possibility and there is boundless opportunity all around me. I have nothing to fear.
5. I have the strength to face my fears and release them when they arise. I understand they serve no purpose to the greater good of my life.
• Be Open to New Opportunity
One of the most painful parts about the recovery process is that everything is new. Change is scary and putting yourself in new situations while sober can seem almost impossible. Being open to new opportunity however invites a whole new realm of possibilities to open up in your life. Learn to say yes to new experience, new opportunity, new friends, and new areas to live your life. Putting ourselves in the same places and around the same people sober can trigger serious anxiety and keep us from moving forward towards our true potential. While it might be scary to try new things, overcoming this fear will invite in a radically powerful positive shift in the way you live your life.
There’s a saying that goes “you will never discover new oceans until you learn how to lose sight of the shore.” Go forward bravely through the recovery process by committing to overcome your fears so you may embrace the many amazing reasons to be alive. Life after addiction will be scary, but the only thing you truly have to fear is this fear itself. And remember, if you don’t give it power it can’t hold power over you.