Our addictions, depression and mental health issues are very often manifestations of our fears. The inner pain we feel about our fears can develop into many of the emotional challenges we face, such as our addictive behaviors and toxic thought patterns. Sometimes we focus our recovery on stopping our behaviors, because it is in those behaviors that we most clearly see evidence of our emotional problems. Our behaviors very often are the symptoms of the problem, not the root cause, and working to abstain from them without facing the underlying fears doesn’t bring us true healing. Recovery asks that we face our fears. This is one of the hardest things we can do as human beings, but we owe it to ourselves to do the work.
When we’re trying to run from our fears and escape them with our drugs of choice and addictive behaviors, sometimes we’re not conscious of our fears, what they are and how they are impacting our lives. We might not even be aware yet that we have these fears. Let’s look at our common thought patterns, our behaviors and our emotional responses. When we look closely at them, we can find our fears underneath. What triggers you? What do you find yourself being most reactive to? Are you afraid of failure? Are you afraid you’re not good enough? Are you afraid of being abandoned? Looking at our fears and becoming conscious of them is the first step in facing them.
Let’s give ourselves some support while we do this very challenging emotional work. Let’s encourage and uplift ourselves by using empowering language. “I am brave. I am strong.” Change the way you speak to yourself in order to help yourself muster the courage to do this important work.
When we feel our fears surge within us, let’s have acceptance and embrace them as part of who we are. Resisting them makes them stronger, so let’s try to come to terms with them instead. Remind yourself that fears are a part of life. We all experience them. Courage means accepting that we have fears and not allowing them to stop us from moving forward. Facing our fears is an important part of our growth process. We can tell ourselves that working with our fears makes us stronger, that our fears and pain are a part of our healing, that we don’t need to run or hide from them anymore, that we can choose instead to work with them and accept them rather than resist them.
You don’t have to face your fears alone. We’re here to support you. Call (800) 871-5440.