When you were in active addiction, you probably took a lot of chances. Drugs and alcohol help dampen inhibitions and cause people to do some dangerous and not-so-smart things. It’s no surprise that when you get clean and sober, your sense of danger comes back. But you might find yourself feeling fear about things that didn’t scare you when you were getting high. After all, it might feel as if you’re trying new things all the time!
In recovery, avoiding the thing you’re afraid of isn’t the answer. Everyone faces challenges, including new fears. The key to making it through things that scare you is not to let fear stand in the way. How can you start to be less scared? First, you must own the fear. Then, you should do the thing you’re afraid of, anyway.
What is Walking Through Fear?
Nobody is a coward because they’re afraid. However, fear can prevent growth and change; two of the most important aspects of recovery from addiction.
Why are you afraid, to begin with? Maybe you’ve been hurt or think relationships are dangerous, so you’re anxious about making new friends. Perhaps you’re worried that you’ll let people down, and then tell yourself that it’s better to “not try” instead. All of these are reasonable.
It’s okay to feel afraid. In fact, it’s important to acknowledge it. Once you’ve admitted it, it’s also essential to challenge fears as well.
How to Confront Fear Head-On
Do the thing you’re afraid of anyway. You can give yourself some coaching before you do it, but ultimately, the only way to confront fear is by walking through it.
You can prepare for the challenge by doing a few things. Ask your sponsor, family, or friends to help you with a pep talk. Ask them what they do when they’re scared. Share at meetings about it. Read success stories online or listen to inspirational music. Take time to meditate or practice mindfulness when you’re feeling afraid. Call somebody on the phone to talk about your fears. Go for a run or regularly walk to help keep your blood pressure calm.
Once you’ve confronted fear a few times, you’ll realize that while some parts of life are scary, others are less scary than you perceived. Walking through fear makes you less afraid. Make sure that you reward yourself – with ice cream, a good book, or a spa night – once you’ve confronted your fear. You’ll find yourself growing stronger and braver every day.
Fear of Getting Clean and Sober?
We’ve helped people from all walks of life forge a path to recovery. You deserve a better way of life! Learn more about getting clean and sober in a supportive, safe environment. Learn more about your treatment options by calling 619-363-4767.