Overcoming The Fear of Getting Sober

Overcoming The Fear of Getting Sober


Considering the damage that can be caused by addiction it is odd to think anyone might be fearful of getting sober. The prospect of recovery can bring a lot of fears. Depending on the recency and severity of use, one might have to endure a period of detox. Withdrawing from drugs and alcohol can last up to three weeks in extreme cases. Psychological and physical symptoms range from anxiety and depression to vomiting and muscle spasms.

Recovery means learning to live with the self in a compassionate way. Drugs and alcohol take over our relationship with ourselves. Chemically and spiritually dependent upon mind altering substances, we relied heavily on drugs and alcohol to get us through life. Like a dearest friend or most intimate partner, we experience fear in letting our drugs of choice go. Long ago we forgot how to truly live. How will we survive? Will we be able to make it? Or worse, what if I relapse and go back?

Living without drugs and alcohol also means living with the emotions, thought processes, and regular occurrences of everyday life that we once felt able to avoid. Coping with life in a mindful way means having to come to terms with our own emotional states. Many people avoid recovery in an effort to avoid reconciling with underlying issues they know are there. Our pasts might be full of self-loathing, trauma, abuse, ego, anger, pride, or depression. Recovery gives us the chance to face these fears head on.

We start by identifying our fears. Rather than letting them consume us and cloud our judgment, we mindfully notice what they are. Some fears will be rational- will I lose my job if I go to treatment? Some fears will be irrational- my anxiety will kill me. Continuing to work through our fears, we look at how we might reframe our thinking. Instead of assuming the worst we hope for the best. Maybe treatment hasn’t worked before. There’s a good chance this time is the last time. Last, we detach from our fears, embracing them as passing experiences from which we gain wisdom. We make the call. We ask for help. We start to recover.


Refuge Recovery Center offers a step down process for addiction treatment including detox, inpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and transitional housing. Combining proven treatment methods with mindfulness based Buddhist philosophy, Refuge provides a program to men and women seeking transformational spiritual recovery. Call or text us today for more information 323-207-0276.

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