Pitfall in Recovery: Fear

This article is by Recovery Connection


Fear has fueled your entire addiction. This basic emotion set the wheels of your active addiction into motion. Maybe you feared feeling the pain and anger from your past and you sought out that first buzz or high. When you were living through the chaos of addiction, fear kept you from taking the blinders off and seeing the destruction around you. Refusing help and staying in active addiction was fear running your thoughts.

Now that you are in recovery, fear is still there. Having fears is a normal part of life, but learning how to manage this emotion leads to a successful recovery.

Five Tips on Managing Fear

There’s no way of avoiding fear; it creeps up on you. But like any emotion, you can learn to cope with it.

  1. Take recovery one day at a time.  The thought of an entire lifetime of no alcohol or drugs is overwhelming and frightening. But, if you focus on each day instead of the long term, you find that sobriety is not that bad. Focus on the present and don’t try to predict what might happen in the following week, month or year. This reduces your fear of failure.
  2. Leave your comfort zone. You may ask yourself “How can I do this?” or “What if I fail?” It’s understandable to be filled with this fear and doubt. But taking the taking the leap of faith and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is how you grow. If you try to push yourself beyond your limits, you expand and learn more about your boundaries.
  3. Learn from past experiences. Everyone has failed at some point in their lives. It’s an unpleasant experience to miss the mark on something or make a big mistake, but there is always a lesson to be learned from these mistakes. Knowing how to manage a situation differently helps tremendously in your recovery.
  4. Manage fearful and negative thoughts. It’s normal to be afraid, have your doubts or negative thoughts. However, the key to a successful recovery and life is not letting those fears, doubts, and negative thoughts take over. Reframing these thoughts helps you get out of the negative mindset and brings you more confidence. It lowers your fear and makes situations seem manageable.
  5. Fight fear in numbers. Sometimes you need a group of friends or family to build your confidence to face your fear. When you surround yourself with positive people who believe in your recovery, your strength grows. Be open with your support system about your fears. Getting over that bridge just takes a helping hand.

Overcoming Fear

Fear can sabotage your recovery. Letting yourself be consumed by fear keeps you from moving forward in your life and attaining goals. Surrounding yourself with positive people that care about your recovery and facing your fears leads to success.

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