Addiction dictionary definition fear
1. a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.
2. a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights.
3. concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
4. reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God.
5. something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear.
Hi, it’s Dermot again. If you read my last blog, you will know that this is a follow up to that blog and part of a “Recovery from Addiction Series”, If not read on:
“Fear of Fear”
Nature has very intelligently equipped every creature on Earth with the means of “Fight or Flight” This equips us to either defend ourselves or run away in the face of danger.
It is all linked to our adrenaline system, which is very clever and will regulate our bloodstream to the right parts of our bodies to be able to fight or flight. An example of this is if you are being chased, the adrenaline will increase, your heart will beat faster and blood flow will be directed to your leg muscles to help you run faster.
All this primeval intelligence happens at a subconscious level. Now if you are an antelope being chased by a cheetah, this works very well & helps you outrun or outmaneuver the cheetah. Once the chase is over, everything returns to normal and the antelope go back to eating grass as if nothing has happened. They will not continue to live in Fear of Fear.
The difference between humans and animals is that our thoughts can also trigger that same fight or flight adrenaline system, even if we are not in physical danger.
So when we don’t have to physically run away, this adrenaline then causes hypervigilance, physical, emotional & mental stress. In turn, we become sick as we are now storing up a lot of energy and are not able to release it. Being sick creates more worry and more anxiety. Anxiety is a fear of the future.
Feck Everything And Run
When I was actively addicted, my biggest fear was not the same as the fear I had as a child, like a bogeyman or a scary movie, It was my internal fear. I was terrified of me as deep down through all the bullshit and denial, I knew that I was not well. I knew at an emotional level that what I was doing went against everything I wanted or valued in my life.
The biggest fear was that I was imprisoned in my own body and mind and could not escape. That’s was scared me, every day. The other fear was that this lie I was living would be exposed and people would know that I am an alcoholic. Then came the anxiety of where my life would go, and life became a struggle and burden.
Even when I write this now I still get the shivers as it was a very dark time in my life, and it was fear that kept me there. I could not become responsible for myself, it was just too scary.
Face Everything And Recover
In Recovery the tables have turned and with each fear faced, I have become less anxious and less fearful. Things that used to scare me do not anymore. It took time and a lot of self-work to get there and I am still a working progress.
Fears in recovery tend mostly to be irrational and not factual. When you have been living in fear for so long, it is not easy to change. Fear can become habitual. Recovery is totally uncharted territory for everyone and the unknown can be fearful. The biggest fear I see from people completing treatment is “How will I cope in sobriety”? Another fear is “How will I stay sober”?, and with the younger generation, “My life is now over”.
Fight & flight moments still occur, whether they are actual when I’m being chased by a lion, or imagined “I think I forgot to tell my wife how lovely she looks”. Being chased by a lion will burn up the adrenaline built up, but when my fear is imagined, I’ll have to do something to release that pent up adrenaline. A suggestion is to challenge yourself, exercise, scream, go for a long walk & breathing techniques.
Remember that fear and anxiety are emotions that come from you, not from anyone or anywhere else. There are many triggers out there to activate fear, but you can only be afraid if you let yourself be.
Fear is learned from birth and is exasperated in addiction. As it is learned and experiential, so it can be unlearned or replaced. The exact opposite of Fear is Love.
Send everything you fear, Love and you will soon see your fear dissipate.
My next article will be is on Feelings
Recovery is about growth and everyone does grow at a different pace. My advice to anyone in early recovery is to wait at least 2 years before making any major life-changing decisions that might have emotional ramifications. An example: get a mortgage, get married, change career, emigrate. In light of this everyone has dreams and we all do want to better our lives in one way or another, so it is important in early recovery to start to put those dreams into reality by creating achievable goals which can be reached in time. I found in my early recovery, although I had dreams, I wasn’t aware of creating goals and my life unfolded by default. It turned out well for me but had I had clear goals, I do feel that it would have been even better.
I do try to learn from my mistakes, and that is why they are little miracles in themselves that happen for a reason. I am a growth-seeking being I will continue to seek change in myself. What motivates me is the Pain – Pleasure, which moves me away from my pain points (a lack of finances, time & peace of mind) to my pleasure points (freedom of finances, time & peace of mind). The way I have found to achieve this freedom and to move away from the “Groundhog Day” of life is through online marketing. I have taken this step into the abyss, I’m not tech savvy at all, and with the support of SFM, I am working my way through it. The internet is here to stay and is the future for all of us, so don’t get left behind because it is gaining momentum. If you want to learn what I am learning and are in a point in your life where you want to change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7-day video series to watch.
The articles in “Recovery from Addiction” Series, are the opinion of the author and if you would like to contribute to it, please leave a comment in the comment box below. If you want to subscribe, for free, to any further blogs of mine please leave your email in the box below & not on social media sites.
Thanks for your time and have a great day