Coming face to face with your fears can be most terrifying; realizing that you don’t have to be controlled by that fear means that you can come out of that dark tunnel to glorious new opportunities for living your life. One of the simplest ways to eliminate your fears is to accept them.
Fear is normal at every stage of recovery, entering and leaving treatment evokes mixed emotions both positive and negative; we tend to worry because we fear the unknown and what we cannot control.
We ask questions such as what will happen when I leave the safe environment at Crossroads.
How will I cope with emotions and feelings that I’ve been medicating with drugs and alcohol?
How well do you weather storms in your life? These are all legitimate fears and questions.
Most recently, in preparation for the passing of hurricane Danny, replacing fear with acceptance was tested. I found myself negatively thinking of the worst possible outcome yet remaining hopeful. The following day after morning devotion and reflection with feelings of mixed emotions, I decided to let go and leave the outcome to my higher power. The only control I had was to prepare, accept the inevitable, and refocus with positive energy and outlook.
By practicing acceptance, I took the same consequence and found a way to interpret it as a positive instead of a negative. The storm uneventful passing provided some relief to alleviate drought conditions on the island.
Listed are some of the common fears expressed among people in recovery, along with suggestions for facing them:
Getting sober means replacing your primary coping mechanism: drugs and alcohol, with new unfamiliar ones. While in treatment, persons in recovery are provided with a foundation and tools that work when put into practice.
Another common fear expressed, will sobriety be boring or sustainable? Staying stuck in this fear generally means staying stuck in addiction.
What to Do? Rather than run from it, feel the fear and then take one step forward anyway, follow a recommended continuing care plan, go to meetings regularly, or support groups where other people in recovery share their success stories and work with a sponsor.
Some of the damage inflicted by prolonged drug and alcohol use will be repaired the longer you stay sober and remain active in a recovery program. Only by investing in yourself and your relationships can life in recovery be truly rewarding.
When we accept life on life terms, we accept change, we are able to let go, and rely on our higher power for guidance.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this subject. How have you worked on replacing fear with acceptance?
I offer you these quotes on fear as a gift of encouragement
- Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it. That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear. ~ Dale Carnegie
- Ultimately, we know deeply that the other side of every fear is freedom. ~ Mary Ferguson
Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones. Thich Nhat Hanh