How Recovery Gave Me Courage

From my earliest memories, I was a fearful person. While you might not have guessed it from looking at me (I was an extremely outgoing and friendly child), I was afraid of pretty much everything. A lot of those were typically the usual fears of children my age – I was afraid of monsters underneath the bed, ghosts in the attic, being teased by the other kids.

But a lot of my fears were bigger than that. I didn’t fully understand where they came from, but I knew that they terrified me: the fear that I would never amount to anything, the fear that I would never be able to reach my goals, the fear that I would never be loved, the fear of being honest and vulnerable, the fear that I was different from everyone else.,,,and so on and so forth.

These fears were only exacerbated and validated when I was drinking and using. It was a vicious cycle – the drinking and using only confirmed what a failure I was, that I was unlovable, that I was flawed. But because I was drinking and using, I was unable to do anything to counteract these fears.

Then I found recovery. It was a slow and painful process, but recovery gave me the courage to face and conquer a number of the fears I had been carrying around with me my whole life.


I can’t remember a time in my life when I felt like just being me was enough. I always strived to be someone else – someone better, someone smarter, and someone more beautiful. Through the process of recovery, I have been able to let go of the fear that anything less than perfect is not good enough. Perfect doesn’t exist. Being Deanna is enough.


There were always things that I wanted to do – places I wanted to visit, milestones I wanted to hit, goals I wanted to reach. But my fear paralyzed me, especially during my active drinking and using. My goals were a fantasy, and they seemed impossible to achieve.

In recovery, I have been able not only to set goals and achieve them, but to exceed anything that I ever thought possible. I have an amazing career. I have traveled to amazing places. I finished a marathon. Now, when I set a goal, I know it’s only a matter of time before I achieve it, as long as I’m willing to put in the work.


This was a double-edged sword for me. I was always afraid of being alone, but I was also incredibly afraid of letting anyone in. So all of my relationships were very superficial – I usually had people around (most often to drink with), but I never felt truly close to anyone. It was incredibly lonely.

Now, I have been able to push through my fear of letting other people in, and as a result, I have amazing people in my life that know and love me for exactly who I am. I am open and vulnerable and they are the same, and because of this I feel closeness and a bond with them that I never experienced before recovery.


This was a tricky one. I thought that I wanted to be successful, but I was afraid (this piggy backed off of the fear of not being good enough). And because I was afraid, I ended up sabotaging any chance that I had in success.

In recovery, I am not afraid of success anymore – I thrive on it and actively pursue it on a daily basis. And I mean success in all ways – success at work, success in my relationships, success in achieving my goals. I have the self confidence to know that not only should I not be afraid of success, but that I DESERVE it.


Recovery opened the door to a lot of self-exploration and discovery. It forced me to challenge the validity of my deep seeded beliefs. I started to look at all of the fears I had been carrying with me, see them for what they are, acknowledge how they were holding me back, and ultimately let them go.

It wasn’t easy, and I haven’t completely overcome all of the things that scare me. But I have come a long way, and I today I can say that through recovery, I am no longer a person who lives in fear.

Last Updated on February 22, 2024


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