Fear is often a big part of addiction and recovery for young men. Initially, the fear of not having access to alcohol or drugs fuels their addiction. Next, when they want to get help and quit, fear can prevent them from moving forward because they are afraid of the unknown. How will they live without misusing substances? What will they do with their time? How do they regain control over themselves? In addition, once young men start recovery, they can be afraid of what their new sober life will look like and being able to live without using. So, it is easy to understand why you want to know how to manage fear in addiction recovery to maintain long-term sobriety.
How Fear Fuels Addiction
Misusing alcohol and drugs can feel normal for young men who have been using them for a long time. It can also feel normal and acceptable to be around other people who drink and use drugs. Since these habits seem normal, quitting can cause a sense of panic and fear of not knowing how you could survive without your preferred substance.
Furthermore, when alcohol or drugs are turned to as a means to cope with anxiety, stress, or to boost someone’s self-confidence and make them more social, it is easy to understand why they would be afraid to stop. The thought of being able to no longer can seek comfort for their problems without drugs or alcohol can be scary.
How Fear Negatively Affects Addiction Treatment
When a young man is ready to start recovery, fear can negatively impact their addiction treatment in several different ways, such as:
- The fear of uncertainty. He knows what happens when he drinks or uses drugs but has no idea what will happen during treatment.
- The fear to act. Fear can become quite overpowering where it causes him not to want to take action, whether to continue rehab or participate in his recovery.
- The fear of making decisions. Since most of his decision up to this time have been poor ones, he can be afraid that he will not be able to make good decisions.
- The fear of rejection and loneliness. Going through recovery may result in a young man’s friends no longer wanting to be around him once he’s sober. As a result, he can also feel lonely and all alone.
- The fear of being happy. Fear and addiction can make him feel guilty about experiencing happiness during recovery because he may not believe he is worthy of being happy.
- The fear of sobriety. When he has misused drugs and alcohol for quite some time, the thoughts of not having access to these substances or ever using them again can be a very powerful trigger.
- The fear of failing. Lapses and relapses are common for young men in recovery. So, the fear of failing can be pretty real. If he fails, the failure could trigger an internal struggle to decide what path he should take next.
Common Fears in Recovery
Fears in recovery often bring up a wide range of questions you will ask yourself, including:
- What happens if you go to rehab and fail?
- What happens if rehab is successful? What next?
- What will you do if you lapse or relapse?
- Where will you live after rehab?
- Will your friends or family support your sobriety?
- Will your friends try to tempt you into drinking or using drugs once you are done with rehab?
- How hard will it be for you to tell them no?
- Will you be all alone without any external support?
- Will family and friends reject you because you no longer drink or use drugs?
- How hard will it be to make amends and repair damaged relationships?
How to Manage Fear in Addiction Recovery
As you can see, many fears can occur while in recovery. However, once you learn how to manage fear in addiction recovery, you can gradually start to overcome your fears, one at a time. Some of the best ways to overcome fears include:
- Openly discuss your fears with others. You are not the only one that has fears while in recovery. Sharing fears makes managing your fears easier.
- Form new friendships. You are building a new sober life, and it is acceptable to build new friendships with other young men in recovery. Forming these bonds now can lead to lifelong friendships and added support for one another.
- Take it one day at a time. Recovery is an ongoing process, and thinking about “what ifs” or the future can stir up all sorts of fears. So instead, focus on now and what you need to do to get through today.
- Move into a sober living home. Sober living homes are a great way to overcome your fears after completing your rehab problems. Instead of returning home, you transition to a sober living home you live in with other young men in recovery. Together, you help create a caring and supportive environment.
Young Men Overcome Fear in Recovery at Sober Living Homes in Los Angeles
Now that you know how to manage fear in addiction recovery, now is the time to focus on you and your recovery journey. After completing your initial detox and rehab program, continue overcoming fears in a safe and supportive environment at New Life House.
We provide access to several sober living homes for young men in the Los Angeles area. Together our residents work to support one another, help each other overcome fears, and prepare themselves to live independent sober lives. To learn more about our sober living homes or what you need to do to move in, contact us today.