We experience many fears related to our addiction and recovery, and while it may seem perplexing that we would fear sobriety, many of us do in fact have a fear of what lies on the other side of our recovery. Because sobriety is our goal, it might seem counterintuitive that we would be afraid of it. Why do we fear sobriety when we so desperately want to get better and live happier, healthier lives?
We can fear sobriety for many reasons. One is that we have grown so accustomed to our lives the way they are, that our addiction has essentially become our comfort zone. As difficult and painful as it can be, it is what is familiar and comfortable. It’s what we know, what we’re used to. Pushing ourselves beyond that and into something totally unfamiliar can be daunting and scary. We don’t know what the future holds. The anticipation we feel can be filled with fear and uncertainty. We might be pessimistic and expect the worst. We might have lost faith in ourselves and our ability to recover.
Sometimes we fear sobriety because we fear the hard work that comes along with it. Along with being familiar and comfortable, in a sense our way of life has become easy. Many of us have given up on trying to get better. We aren’t seeking help. We’ve become complacent in our lives the way they are. That’s so much easier than fighting to recover. We’ve gotten used to our daily routines, which for many of us are functional. We’re able to go to work and handle our other obligations. Perhaps we’re still good providers and caregivers to our loved ones. We might be living with what’s referred to as “functional addiction.” We’ve managed to find a way to live cope our addictions, often without alarming others. Sometimes we’re in denial about the severity of our problem, sometimes we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re better off this way. We settle for what’s easy, rather than challenging ourselves to become healthier, happier versions of ourselves. Recovery is work, and we fear that. We fear the great responsibility that comes with it.
Sometimes we aren’t aware of what our fears are. We feel afraid but aren’t sure exactly why. Reflect on your fears. Meditate on them. If you’re finding that some of your fear is coming from a fear of sobriety, try to remind yourself of all the reasons you want to recover. Remind yourself of the life you’ve lost that you want to rebuild. Remind yourself of your loved ones, and how you don’t want to waste any more of the time you could be spending with them. Remind yourself that you are strong, brave and capable.
We believe in you and your ability to recover, and our team is committed to helping you get there. Call 888-570-7154 for information on our addiction recovery treatment programs.