When struggling with addiction, there are some common fears that many of us suffer from acutely, that fuel and drive our addictive cycles. One of those fears is our fear of confrontation. We’re afraid of facing the truth of our addictions. We avoid the truth at all costs. We’re in denial about how serious our problems have become. We’re afraid to confront ourselves on how much suffering we’re causing ourselves. We’re also afraid to confront the issues in our lives that are causing us so much distress. We’re afraid to confront the people who’ve hurt us, especially if they’re still causing us pain in our lives. We’re afraid of the anxiety and angst that can come from confronting something or someone difficult. We’re afraid of facing things directly. Instead of challenging ourselves to confront the things and people we know we need to, we choose to look the other way, turn a blind eye, and sweep things under the rug. As a result, years of problematic issues accumulate, causing us even more turmoil and confusion.
As addicts, we’ve been using our addictive behaviors, substances and behaviors to self-medicate and numb ourselves from our deeply rooted pain. Our fear of confrontation is a major catalyst for these destructive cycles. We often haven’t developed the self-awareness, or the courage, to face our most difficult issues. We haven’t yet developed the inner strength or resilience to confront our fears and our wounds, knowing we will survive the emotional challenge of that confrontation. We learn over time that it can feel as though our pain is breaking us, but that we are in fact stronger than it. Our pain is a part of who we are. It doesn’t have to destroy us, unless we allow it to.
When we don’t confront things, we give them more power over us. We allow them to dominate and control us. When it comes to our addictions, the inner pain we’re refusing to confront starts to take over our lives and control our thinking, our emotions and our behaviors. We struggle to stay focused. We have a hard time accomplishing our goals. We let ourselves dwell on our pain, to the detriment of everything else in our lives. Our aversion to confrontation actually ends up making our problems worse, because our denial and avoidance, which are rooted in fear, are fueling and exacerbating them. In order to really heal ourselves, we have to learn how to face our fears, and the truth of who we are, head on.
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.