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For those of us who have been living many years, or most of our lives, addicted to a substance or behavior, our addiction has become our comfort zone. As painful and destructive as it can be in our lives, it is what is familiar to us. We therefore have a very hard time accepting any other way of being. We know objectively that we need and want to abstain in order to recover. We want to get our lives back. We want to return to the people we once were. We resist sobriety, though, even when we know it’s what’s best for us. Why do we resist sobriety? The answers lie in our fear.

We fear the discomfort of pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. We fear rigorous emotional work it will take to abstain. We’re afraid of the physical pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. We’re afraid of giving up our familiar lifestyles. We’re afraid of leaving behind our loved ones, our homes, our jobs and our routines for the brand new environment of a treatment center.

Many of us resist change because the uncertainty can be very overwhelming. We don’t know what to expect. We would rather stay in what is comfortable than venture into the unknown. We fear the future and what it might hold for us. What will our lives look like without drugs? Who will we be when we’re sober? Will we be happy? Will we suffer from depression? Will we even be able to maintain our abstinence?

Sometimes what we’re most afraid of is responsibility. In sobriety, we’re forced to face ourselves and our lives in ways we may not have been able to thus far. We’ve used our addictions as our form of escapism. Our addictions became our excuse as to why we couldn’t live up to our responsibilities. When we’re sober, we have to be responsible for ourselves and our recovery, without the crutch of our addictions. We’ve run out of excuses. We have to face the difficult truth of how far we’ve let ourselves fall, how much damage we’ve incurred in our lives, how problematic our addiction has in fact become. There’s nothing to hide behind, and no way to deny the seriousness of our addiction. When we’re not used to taking responsibility for ourselves or our illness, this can be a colossally scary thing to do. We’ll have to face other people’s anger and disappointment with us. We’ll have to be honest with them and with ourselves. The weight of it all can feel overwhelming, and we resist it because we’re afraid.

Because many of us have experienced the recovery process firsthand, we understand the various challenges that come along with it. We offer the expertise and the support you need to help you recover. Call Riverside Recovery today: (800) 871-5440.