Is fear of being sober a real thing? As you work through the detox process, you can start to feel the overwhelming frustration and anxiety build around being sober. Post-detox, you may have a wide range of emotions flooding your mind. You’re likely also to start feeling the stress build, perhaps the same stress that leads you down the path to using.
With all of this chaos surrounding you at that moment, you’re just starting to acknowledge what’s happening to you. It’s all overwhelming. The thought of pulling your life back together or improving it can seem impossible. In those early days, it’s always possible to find yourself experiencing emotions you don’t know how to deal with well. Yet, with the help of your team of professionals, you can work through them and find yourself in a much better place.
Fear and recovery have a common link. Take a closer look at these feelings you may be having and what you can do about them right now.
Fear of Failing Yourself
Some people have a fear of failure. Perhaps you’ve relapsed before, and now you’re worried it will happen again. You may feel as though failure is inevitable. In this situation, it’s important to be truthful with yourself. It hurts to think of what you have given up or lost for drugs and alcohol. But, there is hope in your future.
Recognize what addiction is. It’s a disease that needs ongoing treatment to keep it at bay. At the same time, come to grips with the fact that this is the reality you are living with and there’s no way to turn back the clock. With that understood, you can begin to move forward with working towards recovery again.
Fear of Facing Your Damage
“Why should I stay sober? Look what I’ve done to my life.” This is a very common thought process. After detox, your brain begins to piece together the problems you now have with relationships, work, school or other important aspects of your life. It’s disheartening to realize what you’ve lost.
For some, alcohol and drug use creates issues itself. You’ve kept using to help escape the consequences of those situations. The reality is the damage is done. You have to make a decision to move forward and overcome those losses. You may be able to fix some of what’s lost and damaged. Other times, you just have to move on.
Fear of a Life Without Drugs or Alcohol
Even though you know the health complications drug use has brought to you, it’s not uncommon to fear life without it. In some situations, people are scared sober, meaning they suffer life-threatening consequences to overdosing or using. This pushes them to stop using. For others, the opposite can occur. You may be afraid to stop using because you have no idea what life will be like after you do.
This can relate to picking up the pieces after detox, but it also has to do with what you know and feel comfortable with in your daily life. A life of drugs and alcohol feels normal because that’s what you’ve focused on for so long. It’s not uncommon, then, to be afraid of what life will be like without these substances to help you to manage stress, family and other challenges.
Fear of Letting Others Down
After detox, it’s easy to come to the realization that there are people who are still standing by your side that probably should not be. You recognize what you’ve put them through, you’re ashamed of it and you wish you could take it back. Yet, at the same time, it may feel better just to give in and use because that’s what they expect from you. If you try to stop using and fail, you’re disappointing them all over again.
The fear of letting other people down is common even if you don’t have close bonds with others. You may feel that way about an employer, for example. In these situations, recognize what it means to you, personally, to recover. While it’s easy to focus on what other people think, it’s more important to recognize the opportunities that are presented to you when you improve your dependency.
Fear of Rejection
What’s going to happen when you step out of the residential rehab center and into life again? One thing that could happen is rejection. You may no longer be in some people’s lives because of your actions. However, another fear is the worry of not belonging anywhere. Do you belong in a church if you’ve failed? You may feel as though you don’t belong in a place of employment because you screwed up so badly. These are personal feelings, not necessarily those within the organization.
As you consider that sense of rejection, don’t be afraid of it. While the world might be a bit more challenging, you have every right to be a part of it when you stop using. Instead of seeing your addiction as a limiting fact of life, consider your recovery a tool you can use to help others. What if, instead of staying away from life, you embraced it and helped others facing the same challenges you do?
Moving Forward Is One Step
When you are facing these challenges and downright fear of recovery, just focus on what is happening right now. You’re post-detox and ready to take that first step into recovery. Don’t think about what could happen later. Just focus on talking to your therapist, working through today’s challenges and making it another 24 hours without using. Soon, that will become a week and then a month.
Most people will need ongoing support for some time after detox. This is a very good time to speak to your counseling team about these fears and the emotional struggles you are having. They can help you work through them and explain more about how you can recover more fully.
Getting Ongoing Help From FHE Health Can Help
By working with our team at FHE Health, you can discuss strategies to help you avoid relapse and stay the course. Your goal should simply be to take one step forward right now by calling our team for immediate help. We’re here 24 hours a day with compassionate counselors. Call 844-299-0618.