Fear is something that everyone experiences from time to time. It can be a driving force in a person’s life and can prevent them from overcoming their problems. Fear can be especially problematic when it comes to addiction. A person may be fearful to reach out for help because of social stigma or what their friends/family may think. When it comes to fear in recovery, it is essential to know how to deal with fear. Addiction can be scary but avoiding the problem and being fearful of help will end up doing more harm than good.
Everyone sees the world differently and has their own unique fears. Different people process fear differently. Along with this processing, all people have varying levels of being frightened. Sometimes fear is the appropriate response, but too often fear is stacked on other fears and can build a house of irrationality.
Properly dealing with fear is an essential part of the journey. Fear not only stops a person from truly overcoming their addiction but also stops personal growth and happiness. Fortunately, there are ways a person can deal with their fear in recovery.
Common Fears in Recovery
Fear in recovery comes in many different forms. While every person has their own doubts and fears, there are a few common fears that many individuals face. Some of the more common fears in recovery include the following:
- Financial concerns
- Life without drug use
- Concerns in relationships
- Fear of change or the unknown
- Fear that staying sober will require a lot of effort
- Doubts that a person will ever enjoy life again
- Failure or in some cases, success
- Employment concerns
While these are all valid concerns, these thoughts can end up causing a lot of problems during recovery. Dealing with fear takes patience and the necessary skills to understand a person’s emotions. Recovery and addiction treatment are not easy journeys, they may be painful and uncomfortable. With this in mind, it’s possible for a person to take control of their doubts and fears. Time and time again, those struggling with addiction have not only overcome their addictions but their fears as well. Recovery can be a transformative experience for those who are willing to give it their all. At Coastal Detox, we’ll be by your side to ensure the best results and best change in your life.
Running from Yourself
Many people forget fear is self-manifested in most scenarios. People are not born with the idea that we’ll be terrified of everything. Many times, people let their thoughts take hold of them which can be barriers in the way of recovery.
When people allow fear in, all these troubles overcome their psyche and create anxiety with every next step. However, there are tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for when a person is living in fear. Some of them are recognizable people include:
- The individual is always on an emotional roller coaster
- The person is always unsure of their next step
- They are unable to remain sober
- The person allows trivial matters to upset them easily
- The individual is always living in secrecy
Sometimes a person may be living sheltered in a world of fear and it may be difficult to see it. This is why it’s important to be aware of these fearful thoughts and tendencies, especially during recovery.
Negative Thoughts and Fear in Recovery
Often, especially for people who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions, fear is created from anxious thoughts, often about the future. Living in such a fast-paced world with so many distractions can be overwhelming and frightening at times. People tend to think about the past or trip over their futures.
It’s easy to remain stuck in uncomfortable thoughts and to play them over and over in our heads. Not staying in the present can have a dramatic effect on a person’s awareness. When a person allows themselves to become distracted from the inevitable wandering of their minds, they begin to tune out their surroundings.
Sometimes it’s these fears that end up causing doubts and negative thinking in a person’s head. Introspection quickly goes down the drain when people start practicing these looping thoughts. Not knowing how to deal with fear can end up being unhealthy, especially during addiction recovery. When a person lives in fear, they allow their minds to be slaves to something just like substance abuse. Using tools such as prayer and meditation are imperative to making it through these negative thoughts.
How Fear in Recovery Can Affect A Person’s Success
Fear can be a problem for those struggling with addiction. Their lives may be driven by fear and irrational thoughts. There are many dangers that fear can have on a person’s success in treatment and recovery. This is why it’s important to know how to cope with these feelings. Some of the negative consequences of fear in recovery may include:
- Too much fear stops a person from getting the help they need or it may stop them from taking the necessary action (which can lead to relapse).
- Fear can turn into stress, which can cause problems for a person’s mind and body.
- It deters a person from thinking clearly and making smart decisions in their life.
- Fear deters a person from growing as an individual and overcoming their addiction/fears.
- Fear may be used as a justification to relapse in the future.
- Persistent fear will make recovery not as impactful and may leave the person feeling unsatisfied or upset.
- Fear may stop a person from experiencing new things and personal growth.
These are just some of the reasons why dealing with fear is extremely important during recovery and addiction treatment. Unfortunately, many people don’t see the negative consequences that fear can have, especially when it comes to drug and alcohol use.
Turning to Drugs and Alcohol Because of Fear
Many people turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with life’s stresses and negative thoughts. This can create a negative cycle of drug use whenever a problem arises or when fear takes hold of a person. Eventually for many, just like alcoholic thinking itself, fear begins to make things powerless and unmanageable. Dealing with fear is not easy but it is important to stay sober and healthy during recovery.
Some build the fright up on the inside and convince themselves that they will fail if they try to get clean or do anything for that matter. They will fail at getting high and they will fail if they try to get sober. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking that step over the thin line of comfort and growth.
Addiction treatment can teach a person how to cope with life’s stresses and negative thoughts. When these irrational thoughts are broken down, it becomes clear that most of their fears are irrational. Sometimes it’s simple thoughts that can be a person’s downfall. A person should never turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their stresses. This only makes the situation worse for everyone involved.
Dealing With Fear in Recovery
While fear in recovery can be a complicated and stressful situation, you can find helpful tips and techniques for combating it. Everyone may experience and react to their fears differently but using these methods can help a person in their journey. It is okay to fear certain things but it all comes down to how you address and deal with these thoughts in your day-to-day life. Here are a few ways you can deal with fear in recovery:
- Take a moment to understand your fears and what is causing them
- Practice mindfulness and meditation. This allows you to see their fears and negative thoughts in an objective way.
- Relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises (commonly used in addiction treatment) can help you.
- Keep a personal journal to write down fears. This makes it easier to find solutions and analyze the problem further.
- Change your view of fear; let it motivate you. Think of it as a helpful guide instead of a problem.
- Talking to a professional counselor or therapist can help put fears to rest or can help come up with a solution.
- Carefully and strategically face your fears head-on. This can help you slowly overcome irrational thoughts and fears in recovery.
- Attending group therapy or individual therapy can help a person open up about their fears.
Don’t Let the Excuses Stop Your Life
Don’t allow the fear of sobriety or trying to become sober prevent you from living the life you truly desire. Addiction and alcoholism add up and will only continue to be an issue for you and your loved ones. If you or a loved one is struggling with dependency or addiction, Coastal Detox is ready to help. We’ll teach you and your loved ones how to deal with fear while getting proper help from qualified professionals. Give us a call today to get started on your journey towards a better life and learn more about our addiction resources and detox process.