Dealing with Fear in Sobriety

It’s easy to see that we exist in a world where every individual our there is unique in their own methodology. We are all alike yet so different. Genetically parallel but still dissimilar. This causes much confusion and misunderstanding as we travel down the road of life. However, it also causes so much joy and appreciation.    

We all love and hate in different capacities. We like and dislike specific things that our neighbor may not. We process it all differently. Along with this processing, all people have varying levels of being frightened. Sometimes fear is the appropriate response, but too often fear is stacked on other fears and we build this house or irrationality to hide inside of.

Much of the time, human beings like to assume as they let their imaginations take full throttle. We hear and see what we want to hear and see. We then build off the subjective fear and conjure great imaginaries inside. The thoughts then take over and swallow us whole. Once our pipe dreams and reality are indistinguishable, we have concocted a perfect set of apprehension to hold us back from life. However, what if it didn’t have to be that way?

Signs of Fear

Many of us forget fear is self manifested in most scenarios. In the epic battle between nature vs. nurture, in a lot of aspects we seem to be afraid of what life has to offer. We are not born with this incessant instinct to just be terrified of everything.  As the late great John F. Kennedy said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. You see it is when we allow these scared premonitions to take control- we are opening ourselves up to more possibilities of fright.

When we allow fear in, before we know it all these troubles have overcome our complete psych and we are living in anxiety of our every next step. However, there are telltale signs to keep any eye out for when becoming engulfed in fear. Some of them are recognizable in us and others like:

  • The individual is always on an emotional roller coaster
  • The person is always unsure of their next step
  • They are unable to stay sober
  • The person allows trivial matters to upset them easily
  • The individual is always living in secrecy

Sometimes a person may be living sheltered in a world of fear and it may be difficult to see it. Unfortunately help sometimes cannot be provided to somebody when that somebody isn’t aware they need it.

Overrunning Sobriety

For addicts/alcoholics, often times fear is manufactured from the thoughts of anxiety and thinking too much about our future. We live in such a fast paced world with so many distractions that it is difficult to keep ourselves present in the now. We are always reminiscing about the past or tripping over our futures so much so that we struggle to maintain consciousness with any and everything that is today. So we allow ourselves to remain stuck in uncomfortable thoughts, playing them over and over in our heads. Rewind, play. Rewind, play. This doesn’t do us any justice.  

Not staying in the present can have a dramatic effect on our awareness. When we allow ourselves to become distracted from the inevitable wandering of our minds, we begin to tune out our surroundings. Our focus then playcates on unimportant matters and we allow hypothetical and irrational fear to set in. Introspection quickly goes down the drain when we start practicing this worrisome oblivion. When we live through fear, we allow our minds to be slaves to something just like substance abuse. Using tools such as prayer and meditation are imperative to making it through the adventures of our imagination.

Rational or Irrational?

Many of us used drugs and alcohol because we wanted to feel comfortably numb when dealing with the strife life provides. Having the constant impending fear of doom can get heavy after a bit of time. Using drugs to forget about life’s matters because the natural as we allow fears to trickle in and take over. Eventually for many, just like alcoholic thinking itself, fear begins to make things powerless and unmanageable.

Some build the fright up on the inside and convince themselves that they will fail if they try to get clean or do anything for that matter. They will fail at getting high and they will fail if they try this sobriety thing. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking that step over the thin line of comfort and growth.

It’s amazing to see the differences in what we fear pre/post sobriety because the difference is yin and yang. When we take a look at most of the things that have derived panic in our pasts, we find that that most of our fears are irrational. Sure some of them sit comfortably on a pile of “what ifs” with potential to boast, but most of our fears originate from things we make up in our heads. If it’s not something affecting us right then and there, then chances are our imaginations might be making it worse than it seems. Staying in the present and acknowledging our reality from our pipe dreams is one of the best ways we can continue to master our fears. If you or