A Look Into How We Fear Our Surroundings and How We Can Change That
We work tirelessly to rid ourselves of the things that once held us back. A lot of the recovery journey is about the deconstruction of the life and habits we used to have, and finding ways to either rid ourselves of them or change them to be beneficial to us. It’s about reflecting on ourselves and figuring out what needs to change in order for us to better ourselves. You leave a lot of things behind you; a lot of extra baggage. You leave your demons on the side of the road, asking them to never come back. Take off those things that are weighing you down, take the load off your shoulders, and you will find it easier to move forward. The goal is to feel lighter so that you can be healthier. While most of these things that we leave behind while in recovery are metaphorical (emotional or mental afflictions), we may also look to rid ourselves of our physical surroundings.
Wherever we may be when our struggles get to be their worst, wherever we may be when we find our rock bottom, that place can become a symbol of that low point. To us, the walls of the room may spark a sense of fear, an address could cause us to feel concern. It can be difficult to not associate that place with the struggles we have dealt with. We can’t go to that place without feeling afraid or without being reminded of what happened, who we were. It makes sense: what we faced in those moments was trauma and trauma has a habit of burrowing itself into the environment as well. Trauma is lasting and consistently makes things difficult, even after recovery. While we have faced our trauma, dissected it, and found the ways in which we can cope with it, we can’t rid ourselves of it. It will stick with you and will be beyond pestering. This applies to the places we go to as well.
People, Places, and Things
For a lot of us, after recovery, we avoid the places that cause these kinds of emotions. We think that it’s healthier for us to avoid them since we have been taught to take the detrimental parts of our lives out. We think that if we ignore it or don’t acknowledge it, it can’t hurt us. And in a lot of ways, that’s true. Pain isn’t easy to deal with and if we can avoid it, almost every single one of us would choose to. But there is something to be said about allowing yourself to face that pain, to immerse yourself in it, and redefine it.
Pain isn’t permanent and it never has to be. We hold the power to change it. Perhaps you are afraid of sleeping in the room where you had your first anxiety attack or being in the house in which you first felt the crushing weight of depression. Coming back to those places is a reminder of where you were and it sparks up that fear of going back. We know how common that fear is after recovery. You are constantly terrified of reverting back, of relapsing. You’re finally on your own, no longer a part of a program or process where you have people to talk to every day. It’s on you now, and you don’t want to risk anything that could cause some sort of fall. So you avoid that room, that house. But we encourage you to embrace it. We define what we are afraid of and we can choose what a place means to us. It won’t be easy; nothing ever is in the world of mental illness and recovery. But you can’t let that deter you from continuing to show your strength and control over the matter. You didn’t let your fear of your illness dictate your ability to beat it, so why let it continue to hinder your ability to live? Those walls don’t hold any definition that you don’t want them to. We know it won’t be quick and that it will be a process. It will be something that you have to keep going with, keep powering through, and soon enough you will feel that presence of fear disappear. Fear is based on unfamiliarity and discomfort, of not knowing what’s going on or understanding. By putting yourself in those places repeatedly, they can become reacquainted and you will find that familiarity in them. They held a place of comfort for you before, so why can’t they now? As we’ve said, you have the power to change them.
We have the power in our lives. It is up to us how certain things affect us. From people to the words they use, we can choose how we respond to them and how we let them affect us. This is not different. We can let these places hold that power over us and cause us to ignore the comfort they used to bring us, or we can say no, we can make the change so that fear is no more. We are always the ultimate decider in what does, and does not, hurt us.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with anxiety or mental illness, do not hesitate to contact the team here at True Recovery. Our program, founded in 2014, is built around finding what’s best for you to overcome your addiction. Our facility is located in Newport Beach, California, with our supportive housing located close to our campus in Costa Mesa. Take advantage of the local beaches, nature preserves, and Orange County community while we fight for you. Contact us at (866) 399-6528 or [email protected]