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If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

As we’re working to get stronger, and as we’re healing ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually, some of our most challenging work revolves around our fears and how we deal with them. Upon examining our addictive patterns more closely, many of us find that our addictions are a manifestation of our relationship to our fears. We often are so afraid to confront them that we develop addictive habits and behaviors that very easily and quickly turn into full-blown addictions. We suppress our fears. We run from them. 

As we’re working to recover, we learn the power of positive thinking, of repeating affirmations, and of reprogramming the subconscious mind to shed limiting beliefs and to create more empowering ones. We know how important it is to build ourselves up, when for years we’ve been knocking ourselves down, holding ourselves back and limiting ourselves. We repeat our affirmations, our empowering, self-affirming statements. We try our best to think positively. We remind ourselves we’re strong, and when it comes to our fear, we strive to be fearless. We feel as though we need fearlessness in order to be powerful, in order to be strong enough to overcome our challenges. How is the idea of fearlessness harmful to our healing?

When we think of being fearless, we think of being without fear. We think of ourselves as being strong enough to banish our fears, and to no longer have to endure the fears we once did. The problem with this is that fear is an unavoidable, inevitable part of our lives. When managed with self-love, fear can be a motivating force rather than a destructive and debilitating one. We can learn from our fears what parts of us still need healing, which areas of our lives need exploring, which things we haven’t been giving enough care and attention to. If we harness the power of our fears, it can propel us to greater expansion and growth. It can be part of our evolution.

Remember how many fears you’re already overcoming now – the fear of entering treatment, the day-to-day fears of depression, panic attacks, and suicidal thoughts, the fears in our personal and professional lives. We’re facing fear, in small and big ways, every day. We’re learning more about ourselves and just how strong we actually are. We can use this as momentum to keep going, to keep confronting our fears. Instead of striving for fearlessness, we can summon our courage, our bravery, our inner strength and the power of our inner peace. Instead of banishing our fears, we can let ourselves feel them, move through them and use them as motivation.

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, you are not alone. Reach out for support. The community of Riverside Recovery has personal experience with addiction and recovery, and we’re here to help you reclaim the life you love. Call (800) 871-5440 today.