Being afraid it a natural instinct, we all experience fear. Most active addicts will contemplate recovery as this is something new to them, and with new things, comes along new challenges, new obstacles, new fears and what ifs’. Fear is a sign that you are ready to meet the unknown and face a new life free of substances.
By choosing recovery, you will experience fear, and it’s not just one fear, but you will find yourself facing quite a few fears as you take your first steps on the road of recovery. The beautiful aspect of recovery is the fellowship, and this will provide you with much needed support and comradery.
The initial steps of recovery encourage you to start to realize how powerless and unmanageable your life was when it came to your addiction. Fear of relapse is one of the common fears; is it worth it after all, if the chances are, I might relapse? Everything is worth it if it will benefit you. Frankly recovery will require a change in lifestyle however the rewards that you will reap make these changes worth it.
In a disjointed way, addiction is comfortable for the addict as they feel that drugs and alcohol help them deal with reality. This is what is known as the Big Lie. It is however this same addiction that convinces you this so as to keep you hooked in a vicious cycle. The change that was mentioned previously includes a change in lifestyle, attitudes, friends, places, and so on. The fear originates from the fact that the only reality they know is that of their addiction, and making this change is indeed scary. However, change is both good and healthy.
Withdrawals are an addict’s worst nightmare; the sweats, delirium, body aches, hallucinations, paranoia, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and so on. Some addicts do not opt for recovery as they fear their withdrawals, however, with a good support system and medical supervision, it can help you overcome this fear. Keeping in mind that withdrawals are finite and that they will end after a few days, will help you feel better and keep you motivated to overcome it. Withdrawals are a consequence of your addiction, and a concept of insanity comes into play, as one would never choose to go through this nightmare again. Going through withdrawals can help you realize the battles you have fought to be in Recovery; and it is not worth it to risk something good for a negative outcome.
Going through active addiction, we have a lot of regrets towards what we have done to our loved ones. Being in recovery entails facing reality as it is and realizing that we cannot hide behind drugs and alcohol. Therefore, facing reality can manifest itself as another fear in recovery. Being so accustomed to twisting reality and emotions with drugs and alcohol, reality now can become overwhelming, and thus we need to accept reality as it is and find our own ways to deal with our own reality in a healthy way. Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous will help us understand our new reality and will provide us with the needed support to face our reality without fears.
But…will I get bored of being in Recovery? Will I find it boring without the thrill and excitement of substances? One cannot compare life in recovery with life in active addiction, as the two are opposites. You cannot compare the highs of drugs with the highs of recovery. With recovery you learn more about who you are without substances. Recovery is not easy, just like with anything else that’s worth it, it takes time and effort to maintain it.