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Fears That Everyone In Recovery Faces

While we all share the same human quality that unites us as a species, we are also blessed with drastic differences that allow us to be unique in our own ways. We are going to look at some common fears that, despite our differences, are universal in the context of recovery. The first fear, and maybe the most ubiquitous form of fear in recovery, is the fear of relapse. This particular fear seems to dominate the rest, and for good reason. As anyone who has personally experienced a relapse or has seen friends or loved ones go through this process, understands that this is a hard ship to redirect back to dock after leaving the harbor. There is also the grim but real reality of those who relapse, have decreased their tolerance during the period of abstinence, and then go on to overdose because they didn’t take into account their tolerance. The point here is that relapse is almost often part of the recovering addict’s story, and just like any other barrier that we create, or that life throws our way, we need to troubleshoot ways in which we can get back on the path.

“Where will I work? Who will hire me? Who would want to hang out with someone like me? I can’t go back to school, I don’t like it and I’m not smart. Most of my family is upset with me, will they ever trust me again? How the hell am I supposed to make new friends?” These are only a few examples of the places our fears, often irrational, can take us to. Certainly, these fears, to an extent, are justified! What is not justified, however, is relegating oneself to a fantastical belief that we can, or even ought to, avoid scenarios that evoke fear and which require courage, persistence, and commitment. While it is also not advantageous to take a “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, while ignoring the split off, hurt, and disconnected parts of ourselves, the recovering addict who is unwilling to stand up to these fears will create a miserable and severely difficult path for themselves. Human being are not creatures who wish to be comfortable. Human beings thrive optimally under challenging situations that require growth, however uncomfortable. Robert Frost poetically makes the distinction of the comfortable path from the path that is difficult but rewarding by stating, “Two roads were diverged in a forest; I chose the road less traveled and that has made all the difference in the world.”

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