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Woman dealing with fears in recovery

3 Fears In Recovery Holding You Back

Fearing the unknown is a seemingly inevitable part of human life and one of the most cited fears of those entering addiction treatment for the first time. Not knowing what to expect in treatment and not knowing how others will react to your admission of addiction are both powerful fears that tend to keep us firmly planted within the familiar. In addition to these fears, some people who have used drugs or alcohol for a long time may fear recovery because they have no way of knowing what life will be like when they are sober.

Beyond this fear of the unknown, three other fears can hold you back from attaining the recovery you deserve:

  • The Fear of change
  • Fear of shame
  • Fear of relapse

At The Ranch Tennessee, compassionate mental health professionals help their clients address these fears and others because while they may stem from the imagination, fears can be powerful enough to thwart one’s treatment and recovery efforts.

Fear of Change

When individuals have an addiction or substance use disorder, it’s hard to see the need for change. They may get a pretend sense of everything working out fine or crave the familiarity of turning to their substance of choice in moments of stress. It’s the way they’ve learned to deal with life. They intuitively understand that messing with that system is likely to bring pain and hurt and take away the only survival skill they know. 

To a person with an addiction, it may seem like substances help them feel worry-free and more in control of challenging feelings. Being afraid to change this way of operating is a valid fear, as letting go of something you’ve become used to can be nerve-wracking. 

At The Ranch Tennessee, our treatment team can help clients understand that substance use doesn’t take care of their issues—the same feelings and problems exist the second they come down from each high. Instead, it blocks issues from conscious awareness and only gives them more power over our future. Our experts can help individuals replace their old survival skills and learn healthy, effective coping mechanisms instead. 

Fear of Shame

Pursuing treatment and reaching out for support can be exceptionally challenging for many people if they harbor shameful feelings about themselves and their habits. They often assume that if they are ashamed of themselves, others will be, too. This fear is a valid one that likely stems from both a history of behaving in ways you’re not proud of and fearing the social and relational repercussions of your admission.

More than anything, the treatment space is a safe place where you are able to review the person you’ve been and decide who you want to be moving forward. Our treatment team will help you discover the truth of that guilt and shame that’s telling you who you no longer wish to be. 

Working through the cultural stigma and relational fallout due to your actions will also be a focus of treatment, with both individual and family therapy sessions to support your growth. 

Fear of Relapse

Making a commitment to stop substance use only to begin again can be a painful experience that holds a person back early in recovery or deters them from seeking treatment altogether. Each time you relapse, that hope of a sober life seems to dwindle further and further. Although you may be aware that achieving lasting sobriety is an effort that often requires multiple attempts, it can be challenging to remind yourself of that fact. 

Healing doesn’t happen overnight, and you can’t place an exact timetable on recovery. Even when you’re afraid to try again, our therapists at The Ranch Tennessee can help normalize and hold onto the hope for a better life. 

Receive Support That Helps You Overcome Your Fears  

A critical part of recovery is understanding your fears and learning how to deal with them. Acknowledge and validate them, but don’t give them power over your recovery and life. 

Expert clinicians and therapists are available to help you deal with any challenges you’ll face. At The Ranch Tennessee, licensed professionals can help you understand the mechanisms of substance use and addiction and address your fears and other needs through holistic and research-based treatment and therapy programs, including:

By calling The Ranch Tennessee at 888.969.7618, you’re making a commitment to yourself, initiating treatment in a safe, judgment-free space with compassionate experts who can guide and support you by providing you with treatment and care and empowering you to make positive, meaningful changes without fear.

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