Dealing With Fear in Addiction Recovery
Fear is a natural part of addiction recovery, but it doesn’t have to undo your hard work
There are many questions and uncertainties that surround addiction treatment, but keep in mind that it is normal to feel some fear about recovery. It’s best to be aware of these fears and work on overcoming them so they don’t stop you or your loved one from seeking the treatment that can help you achieve the new life you’re seeking. These are some of the ways to deal with common fears about drug or alcohol treatment.
Fears in Addiction Recovery
So what kinds of fears do many people face about recovery? Often, people are afraid that they won’t succeed with the recovery program, or they might even fear success, since it means a different lifestyle or because of feelings that they don’t deserve success. Someone might be afraid of what life will be like when sober — for instance, it might be boring, too difficult to keep up with or full of unhappy feelings.
Other fears have to do with loss. There is the fear of losing yourself. It might be hard to know who you are without substances in your life. Or you might fear losing others, including people who might not understand your desire to be sober or those who might not be supportive.
These fears can present themselves before entering a program or even after practicing sobriety for a long time. Can you or your loved one relate to any of these fears? If so, that’s completely normal.
How to Manage These Fears
Let’s move on to managing those fears so they don’t take over your life and hold you back from the course you want your life to take. Remember that it is common to feel fear, but it’s important not to let it control you. Try one step at a time and work your way forward in the process. Try to focus on what you can do now more than focusing too far into the future. Keep in mind that assumptions about recovery might not be correct, and that the only way to know what it will be like is to try it. Remember, one day at a time.
If you believe that you don’t deserve to succeed, working with a recovery expert can help you figure out why you feel that way. You might be one of the people who’s nervous about failing, and relapse is a possibility. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that 40 to 60 percent of people with drug addiction experience a relapse, so many people succeed the first time around. Also, a relapse can bring you one step closer to your goal if you learn from the experience and use it to try to succeed the next time. Also, support from therapy, groups and other interventions can help prevent a relapse. The real way to succeed is to not beat yourself up about setbacks and to keep trying. You might need to work on emotions and issues in your life that contributed to using substances. A quality recovery program can help you with this process.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to let go of people who contribute to addiction or who won’t support your new life. While this loss is hard, there are other people already in your life or that you can form relationships with who will support you in your goals and your recovery process. These are healthy relationships. If you’re not sure who you’ll be after recovery, this time gives you an opportunity to explore yourself. Figure out what you used to like and find new goals and passions in life.
Get Support From an Addiction Treatment Program
A quality recovery program can help you succeed with addiction treatment. So while you might have fear about starting the program, it can actually help with many types of support. For example, discussing your fear in support groups and with a counselor might help you overcome them. A study by UCLA found that people who correctly described the emotions they were feeling when they were experiencing them helped them be less afraid, so expressing how you’re feeling might be able to help you deal with the fear.
At the Malibu Beach Recovery Center, we help people find long-lasting success overcoming addictions. We can help you deal with your fears and find tools that will improve your chance of success.