Fear can be like an avalanche producing the largest snowball. What starts as one small trigger can bring us to our knees, barely able to hold up the amount of weight caused by our fears. Fear tends to be ego-centric. Our deepest fears and insecurities have to do with the self.
We are beings of survival, so it is part of our evolutionary character to still have fears about our survival. Today’s fears may be different from the fears of our ancient genetic ancestors, but the root of them are still the same. What will happen to me? What will happen to others because of me? How am I going to survive?
We have to understand that there is a will and there is a way for all things. As addicts and alcoholics in recovery, we are living proof that humans are capable of surviving the worst circumstances, that humans are adaptable, and that humans can persevere. By choosing recovery and a lifestyle of abstinence everyday we slowly gain what we call a life back.
It may not be much or it may be beyond our wildest dreams, but it is our life, one that we thought we might lose because we couldn’t stop using drugs and alcohol. Life is precious. Life is fragile. Many of us have actually died and lost our lives however briefly, then been brought back to live again.
Others of us have been what could only be described as the living dead. We have good reason to be afraid of what will happen to us because we actually care about ourselves for the first time in a healthy way. Addiction and alcoholism cause the brain to lose its ability to consider negative consequences. Some substances are infamous for the way they cause feelings of invincibility and fearlessness. Having fear, even extreme and self-centered fear, is a sign of progress, in most ways.
With all things in recovery, we have to learn to regulate, manage, and balance. Our fears are not facts and they are rarely accurate depictions of the truth. To overcome all the fear which can start snowballing in your head, you just have to take a few deep breaths and follow these simple steps.
Recognize Your Fears
Mindfulness is a helpful practice in taking yourself to the outside of your fears and observing them objectively without becoming completely swept up in them. After a few deep breaths you might be able to break down your fears. What are you afraid of? What is being threatened? Can you identify where these fears are coming from?
Identify The Ego
Remove yourself from your fears by realizing all of your needs, right now, are met. If your needs aren’t met, your ego is probably screaming out for some TLC. Try to identify any HALT, hungry angry, lonely, tired, which might be going on.
Relax your Body
Fear lives in the mind as much as it lives in the body. Stress hormones which contribute to fear in the mind also create fear responses in the body like tense muscles. With your breath, scan through your body with your mind. Notice where you are tense and let it go. You might not solve every problem your fear is presenting, but you will be able to focus better and relax more.
Lakehouse Recovery Center welcomes men and women seeking healing from their addiction to mind altering substances. Bringing together clinical therapy and integrative healing, our residential treatment programs aim to help clients learn what it is like to have fun again in recovery. For information or to schedule a tour, call us today at 877.762.3707.