Navigating through recovery is a lifelong process that takes focus, determination, and finding ways to keep yourself motivated. However, these cornerstone methods are being challenged right now, perhaps causing you to feel overwhelmed with so many changes to your daily routine—thus creating fear. Fears are caused by a sense of impending pain or danger. Your triggers could be real or imagined; rational or irrational. Fear could cloud your judgment, leading you to make poor decisions. However, understanding your fears could help you use them as a compass to lead you away from danger.
Fear of Failure
No matter how long you have been sober, there will always be challenges. The current pandemic has placed a number of challenges on people around the world, and these challenges might be pushing you outside of your comfort zone. As a result, you might not be reaching some of your goals, and instead of evaluating why you are not reaching your goal, you might have told yourself that you do not have what it takes. This kind of thinking only supports negativity, and continuing this thought process could hinder your chances of trying again.
In recovery, you weather many ups and downs, you work hard to create a regimen that works for you when things go well, and you develop a reliance on this regimen. You worry about maintaining and perfecting it—the only drawback is that when something goes wrong, you cannot accept it. Understand that failure is one part of the process, and learning from it is the other. You must accept your mistakes in order to move on. Recovery is not about complacency, it is about adapting to new challenges. Redesign and reinvention while taking strategic risks are often necessary to help you break away from the fears and pressures of relapse; therefore, do not be afraid to fail.
Fear of Succeeding
How you view your challenges can tell you a lot about yourself. Do you see them as obstacles you need to overcome? Or do you see them as challenges not worth going after because you do not deserve it? If you sound more like the second response, understand that this is due in part to having low self-esteem. You believe that you do not deserve to be sober, and because of this, the triggers presented by the world’s current situation are causing you to default to self-sabotaging thoughts. This kind of thinking will keep you from even trying. The other reason might not be because of low self-esteem, but your fear that it will involve too much hard work. You liked your comfort zone, but now you have to transition out of it, and that feels hard.
You Deserve It
Take a moment to be present, breathe, and listen to what your fears are telling you. Remember how far you have come, and remember all the people in your life who are here for you. Exercise positive self-talk; you deserve to succeed. You deserve to get through these challenges and create a better future for yourself. You deserve to be happy about your successes. You are still sober, so take pride in the fact that your hard work is paying off. Another day of sobriety means you are succeeding.
Going up against the challenges of the reality we are living in right now is exhausting for everyone around the globe. It might be generating thoughts of improbability and taking into question if lifelong sobriety is even possible amid so much uncertainty. Remember, no great change happens overnight—it takes a series of small steps to build and maintain change. Start small. Focus on the day-to-day, or if it is more helpful at first, take it by the hour. Find activities you can do that will work within the parameters of the current situation. Begin to design a schedule; when you work, when you clean, when you talk to friends, and when you go to bed. Track the small achievement throughout the day and keep building on them, because remember, nobody is asking you to change overnight. When fear creeps up, listen to it—what it is drawing you to or from? Paying attention to these fears early on can help correct or avoid certain habits or pitfalls, thus avoiding a greater sense of fear later on.
Be flexible with your routine, allow yourself the freedom of choices to help you find what is going to work for you. It is normal to ask questions regarding the success or failures of your attempts. What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t accomplish everything? Do not focus on what is not working; build on what is working. Not only will focusing on what works build on itself, but it will lead to other opportunities for growth. Instead of running from your fear each time there is a bump along the way, listen to it and let it point to where and what needs a solution.
While fear can be helpful to you and your recovery, it could so lead to negative results. There is a difference between listening to your fear and believing in your fear. Fear can lead to poor decision making—you might be holding yourself back from taking the right action. This will lead to more stress, which can damage you mentally and physically. If you succumb to fear, you might start to use fear to justify a relapse. You might also experience feelings of being helpless and unsatisfied. This is because your fear is hindering your emotional sobriety, too. True Recovery believes that everyone is capable of maintaining a life of sobriety, they just need to find the type of care that works best for them. To learn more, please reach out to us today at (866)-399-6528.