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Do Not Allow Fear to Ruin Your Recovery from Addiction


A common reason why many remain trapped in addiction for a long time is fear. The individual becomes prepared to accept the misery in their life because they fear the pain of change is going to be worse than the pain of staying the same. In order to break free of addiction, the person must be able to temporarily let go of fear – this is what people do when they become sober. The problem is that the person can then continue to allow fear to limit their life in recovery.

How Fear Can Ruin Your Recovery from Addiction

The real problem with fear is that it keeps you trapped in your comfort zone – this is true even when your comfort zone is not actually that comfortable. The reality is that in order for you to be able to get all the good things from recovery, it is vital for you to be able to get out of your comfort zone. This is summed up nicely in the old saying, ‘if you keep doing the same things, the same things are going to keep happening to you’.

One of the other real dangers of fear is that it can drive you into stinking thinking. This is where your mind is full of negativity, which can have a detrimental impact on your recovery. You may become very cynical and pessimistic about your future, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy; you expect bad things to happen to you, which cause bad things to start happening to you. The other problem with stinking thinking is that it can drive others away because it is hard to be around somebody who is negative all the time.

The fear that drives stinking thinking may eventually cause you to develop dry drunk syndrome (this can apply to those recovering from drugs as well). This means that while you are physically sober, you continue to act as if you were addicted. Dry drunk syndrome takes all the joy out of recovery and it can make it feel as if you are serving a prison sentence instead of living a great new life. When people are afraid they tend to make bad decisions and do things they later regret.

It is a great shame for individuals to go to the trouble of breaking free of the prison of addiction only to end up in a new prison of their own making. The reality is that there is no reason to feel full of fear in recovery.

One of the other ways that fear can destroy life for many in recovery is when it has been the only reason they are sober. Fear can motivate people to change, but it does not tend to lead to lasting change. The problem is that many forget how bad things were; time heals all wounds. This means that the motivation created by fear begins to decline, so the individual can end up right back where they started.

From Fear to Addiction

It is common for fear to drive people into addiction. The individual feels unable to control their life, which means they feel frightened and intimidated. They turn to alcohol or drugs as a means to escape these fears. In the beginning, these substances appear to be working; the individual becomes less fearful of life, and they begin to feel more in control. The problem with turning to these chemicals is that over time the remedy makes things much worse.

The reason alcohol or drugs are so inadequate for dealing with fear is they involve hiding from life. The sources of the fear are still going to be there, but the person just becomes numb to these threats for brief periods. By abusing these substances the person is actually creating new problems in their life, thus have more reasons to be fearful. The response to this is to increase the intake of alcohol or drugs, so the individual is caught up in this horrible downward spiral.

Why Do People Become Full of Fear in Recovery?

Fear can become a habit. The problem is that addiction makes people feel powerless, meaning that they also feel like they are at the mercy of the universe. For those who feel powerless, the world can be a very threatening place. Some are able to use this fear to help them break away from addiction, but they still feel powerless and out of control.

The most common reason why people become a victim of fear in recovery is that they have not developed emotional sobriety. Getting physically sober is a great start, but it is not enough to ensure you are going to have a good life in recovery. Emotional sobriety means you have developed strategies for dealing with your emotions, and one of the emotions you need to master is fear.

It is not possible to develop emotional sobriety overnight. This incredibly valuable asset begins to develop when you make the decision to begin living life on life’s terms. It means that you become ready to face the challenges that life sends your way and you never balk at any obstacle.

The reason you may fail to develop emotional sobriety is that you hit a challenge in your life that you refuse to face. This causes you to become stuck because of your fear, and it is a very dangerous place for you to be in when sober. The truth about recovery is that if you are not going forward, you are probably going backwards. By becoming stuck in recovery, you put yourself at high risk of relapse.

How to Prevent Fear from Destroying Your Recovery from Addiction

The most important thing you need to do in order to prevent fear from ruining your recovery is to make the decision not to allow this to happen. This means that you develop the determination to develop emotional sobriety. You become brave enough to face any challenges that come your way, understanding that any obstacle in your path is a great opportunity for you to grow and improve your life.

The reasons challenges are so important in recovery is they force you to develop coping strategies in order to deal with them. Some people talk about this process as being similar to picking up tools for your toolbox. If you steadfastly continue to pick up new tools, you are going to reach a stage where your toolbox is completely full. This means you are now able to face anything that comes your way in life. There is no longer any reason for you to fear anything and you develop a real sense of mastery over your existence. You now have achieved emotional sobriety, and you can look forward to plenty of serenity in your life.

By escaping from addiction, you have been given a wonderful opportunity to create a life full of happiness and fulfilment. In order for this to happen, you need to be able to leave fear behind. There is no reason not to do this and all you have to do to succeed is to decide to live life on life’s terms and stop trying to hide.

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