As we enter sobriety and recovery, as the haze of drugs and alcohol is lifted we are confronted with a world of fears which can be crippling. Many of these fears are based on issues which are quite real. Some of us have legal issues we are facing. Nearly all of us have fences to mend with family and friends. However, many of the fears we wrestle with are imaginary and dealing with all of this is a central feature of recovery.
The problems of legal issues will simply need to be addressed but the methods for dealing with fear in general will help us cope with these difficult circumstances. The outstanding problems which may exist with family members can generally be dealt with through groups like Al-anon. The steps themselves include an entire procedure for taking stock of and making amends. Your sponsor will walk you through this.
One of the most important things we learn in sobriety and recovery is how to tell the difference between imagined fears and real fears. The truth is, for many of us, our fears are the product of imagined scenarios and possibilities. We imagine what can go wrong in any given situation and we cry defeat ahead of time. We feel, inadequacies in ourselves and project these onto others. These kinds of mental tricks are often a huge part of the reason we drank and used drugs in the first place.
Recovery and treatment take the problem of fear as central to our getting well. We take full inventory of our fears and with the help of a sponsor or counselor (or both), we dispel these fears one by one. We learn to recognize thought patterns which lead to fearful thinking. For example, a common fear for people with substance abuse issues is the fear of failure. This plagues so many that it can lead to a perceived failure in recovery itself. However, one of the most important lessons we learn in recovery is that this fear is based on an entire set of beliefs and circumstances which are completely unfounded. This fear depends on a sense of inadequacy in ourselves which is completely false. It depends on circumstances which have not even happened yet and are a complete fabrication of our imagination. Obviously, working through this takes time and effort. It also requires the guidance of a sponsor or counselor. But we take this fear head in in recovery and quickly dispel it.
Sobriety and Recovery – In any 12 step program there is the process of the fear inventory. This is part of step four and you will do this with a sponsor. Many people describe a feeling of having a physical weight lifted off them after working this step. Step four is also designed to be comprehensive and address all of our fears so that we either dispel them altogether or learn to manage them. The point is, fears may vex us in recovery, but recovery itself is designed to help us deal with fears.
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