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Are We Afraid of Ourselves?

We fear a great many things, especially when we’re struggling with addiction and mental illness, but what we fear most might very well be ourselves. We fear facing our difficult thoughts and feelings. We fear confronting our pain and fear. We’re afraid of what the world would think of us if we allowed it to see who we really are, the real unfiltered, raw, authentic person that we’re afraid to expose. We’re afraid that we’ll be judged because deep down we judge ourselves. We reject ourselves and the things about us that we don’t think are good enough. We criticize ourselves and strive for perfection because deep down we’re afraid that we’re inadequate, imperfect, unworthy and inferior to other people. We fear believing in our dreams because we don’t think they will ever come true and because we don’t believe we deserve to receive what we want in life.

We fear living because we’re afraid of making mistakes. We fear flying because we’re afraid to fall. We fear pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone because we’re afraid of discomfort, uncertainty and anxiety. We fear trying because we fear messing up, because we fear imperfection and judgment. We fear success because we fear responsibility and failure. We fear abandonment because we fear being alone with our painful thoughts and feelings, and because we assume being abandoned means that we’re not good enough. We fear our emotions because they are a reflection of who we are, and we’re afraid to face the truth of who we are.

Healing ourselves means confronting ourselves and doing the work to come to terms with ourselves. We have to make peace with ourselves, our pasts, our fears and wounds. We want to examine our habits, routines and lifestyles, our thought patterns, behaviors and emotional responses, our life cycles and recurring issues. We want to become so familiar with ourselves, inside and out, that we’re no longer afraid of ourselves. We want to get to place of self-love and self-acceptance. We want to be tapped into our truth and connected to our inner selves. When we’re living in fear of ourselves, we often will use other external sources of distraction and escapism to make ourselves feel better. For us as addicts, these can easily develop into addictions, and we later look back and see that it was our fear of self that was a major contributing factor to our addictive patterns.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.