People who have suffered from addiction may have many fears and misgivings about becoming sober. There are a wide range of fears that people deal with day to day and at times those fears can build up and become an obstacle to personal growth. Worries and fears can take over the mind and prevent people from realizing their full potential in terms of recovery and other goals that they may have in life.
Fear of failure, change or any negative outcome can hold you back if you are trying to make progress in rehab and be comfortable in your sobriety. Although everyone experiences fear to some degree and fear can even be healthy in some cases, too much fear can cause problems and even prevent you from making a solid recovery from addiction. Learning ways to handle your fear can help minimize the type of anxiety that can occur in rehab.
What is fear? When people experience fear they are often anticipating a negative outcome to something. Many fears are not based in reality and are mostly imaginary ideas based on the potential for something to happen. An important thing to understand is that a negative outcome is only one of many potential outcomes that exist for something and focusing too much energy on this type of potential only makes it stronger.
You must learn to cope with their fear of potential problems in order to become sober. For people with addictions, they become accustomed to erasing their fears by being intoxicated and haven’t taken the time to develop some more effective coping mechanisms. While using alcohol or drugs can temporarily resolve fears it doesn’t address the root of the problem. It can be more productive to face fears rather than run away from them and allow them to build up.
Coping Methods for Fear
In recovery, you can start facing your fears by analyzing what they are and understanding the cause of them. Narrowing down your fears and identifying them in more specific ways can help eliminate some of the generalizations you might make with your fears. If there are certain types of people or situations that scare you then you can work through those specific fears rather than a bigger more overwhelming fear.
Once you have identified some of your fears you should start to become aware of some of the thoughts that are associated with that fear. You may talk to yourself in your mind and create a story based on certain fears that is often not true. Bring awareness to your thoughts surrounding certain fears and you will begin to see how distorted and negative they are over time. Practicing a mindful awareness meditation can help you to become more conscious of the kinds of negative thoughts that can make feelings of fear much worse.
A helpful method in dealing with fear is to use visualization to imagine yourself in a situation that scares you and go forward with it in your mind. If you are able to imagine yourself acting on fears and not experiencing any of the negative consequences that you think might occur then it can help you minimize some of your worries. You might feel more confident in reality if you are able to use positive visualization to face your fears and get through them.
Throughout recovery you will learn coping mechanisms like these and also have opportunities to actually approach problems that cause you feelings of fear. The more you are able to get through situations that cause you fear, the more you will feel stronger and balanced in your life so that you can face anything in the future.