Walking through fear in recovery sets up path to happiness

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 | By JP Emerald Coast

Have you ever been terrified of making a change? When your life takes a turn into the unknown it can be both unnerving and exciting. What if you fail? What if things get too difficult? What if you regret your decision? All of these questions might grace your mind—but what if this change leads to your happiness?

Choosing to step into recovery from addiction is one of the biggest decisions an individual can make, which usually comes with various doubts and fears. Did you know over 23 million Americans are in recovery from drugs and alcohol? You may doubt your decision to enter rehab or have fears about maintaining your sobriety, but you are not alone. These fears are exceedingly common and affect everyone at some point in their recovery process. Don’t let your fears determine your fate; recovery from addiction is always possible.

“Fear is the brain’s way of saying that there is something important for you to overcome.”

–Rachel Huber


It is important to acknowledge your fears in order to conquer them. Here we will uncover some of these common fears people experience before, during, and after rehabilitation, so you can recognize some that you may be encompassing.


Fear of failure. If you already doubt your capabilities to succeed—you’re probably afraid of failure in recovery. Achieving sobriety is challenging and you will get pushed outside of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it. Whether you accomplish one day sober, one year, or the rest of your lifetime—take it a day at a time. If you hit a speed bump, keep going. Perfection is not key in recovery from addiction, perseverance is.


Fear of sobriety. While many people struggle with the fear of failure, others have the same uneasiness about success. No matter what substance you are struggling with, every addict has one thing in common—substances have become your primary coping mechanism. The thought of having to deal with your emotions on your own can be exceedingly uncomfortable. Instead of obsessing over the negatives, think of the positives. There will be professionals to help you every step of the way, including therapists who will help you develop new ways to cope that do not involve drugs or alcohol.


Fear of losing yourself. It is inevitable that your addiction has touched every area of your life, ultimately becoming a huge part of your identity. The thought of becoming sober can make you feel as if you are losing part of who you are. Although you will break your addiction in rehab, you will also redefine yourself. During this time you will be able to establish your core values, uncover new hobbies, and even revisit old hobbies you were passionate about before drugs. Don’t look at recovery from addiction as part of yourself dying, but instead a new version of you coming alive.


Fear of endless misery. Many individuals entering recovery from addiction are haunted by the question: “What if I get through rehab and obtain sobriety, but I am still unhappy?” Psych Central notes that after substances flood the brain with dopamine, it can be difficult to find pleasure in normal activities. Although this is a common occurrence, damage to the brain will repair the longer you are sober. It is important to remember that pleasure from substances is deceitful and the only real way to accomplish happiness is by maintaining sobriety and reinvesting in your life that drugs took over.


Remember, having fears before and during recovery from addiction is completely normal. It is important to stay focused and overcome your fears so you can obtain the life you’ve always desired away from drugs and alcohol. If you or a loved one is considering entering a rehab program in Emerald Coast, contact

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