13 Fears About Sobriety That Will Sabotage Your Recovery
For anyone who has lived in the throes of addiction, it’s no secret that the idea of getting sober can be downright terrifying at times. The drastic lifestyle change that comes with achieving sobriety invokes much fear of the unknown. We want to make it known that no matter what changes you will experience, sobriety is ALWAYS worth it.
While life in recovery can be challenging, it is infinitely better than staying stuck in the alternative. I’ve spent the last six years researching and understanding alcoholism, addiction, and how people get sober. Besides, judging someone for not drinking alcohol is stupid, and you don’t need to be cool with that person anyway. With proper counseling and/or a good recovery program, you’ll learn important tools for navigating these relationships. If your friends don’t want to hang out with you unless you’re drinking, then you know where you stand with each other. It sounds like a weird thing to be afraid of, but it’s very real.
I honestly did not know what people did for fun without being slightly or very drunk. If you’ve spent the last umpteen years being THAT girl or guy, partying hard, struggling through the days hungover, and doing it all again – sobriety means an entirely new identity. I don’t think it’s change that you’re so afraid of. If you didn’t want to change, you wouldn’t bother to get sober. First, it is normal to be afraid when you first get sober. However, if you don’t learn to manage those fears and put them into perspective, they will drive you right back to the bottle.
FEAR #1: Fear of Failure in Recovery
But you can deal with it and prevent it from hurting you any longer. Throughout your treatment journey you will have built a support network, these are all people that you can speak to if you feel vulnerable to sober shaming. Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are all great support networks to help you if you might be struggling. Similarly, 18 per cent of sober men felt judged in situations with friends, compared to just 12 per cent of sober women. You might have heard the term popping up on social media recently but unsure of what it is. This is because it often goes unnoticed and people may not be aware of it.
The first thing is that sobriety can be a really hard thing to face for a lot of addicts. There’s the chance that they might not make it through it, they could fail, and then there’s the pressure to succeed. There’s a fear of a life without the ability to ever drink or take drugs again. Staying sober means staying clean, and that alone can be a scary thought for many addicts and alcoholics.
Sobriety Fear #2: Everything will change.
When people give up abusing alcohol and drugs it does not mean that their trials in life are over. They are still going to have to deal with the ups and downs of life just like everyone else. The only difference will be that they won’t be hiding from reality or making things worse through substance abuse. One of the things that people in recovery are almost certain to face is fear.
What is Nifaliophobia?
And there's a word for it: Nifaliophobia. The fear of getting sober is more common than we may think.
When we aren’t sober, we can use that as an excuse to avoid those problems. Coping mechanisms are tough—they work temporarily, and allow us to avoid and put things aside for the time being. We use alcohol to cover up our pain and our problems. We use drugs to numb ourselves and our emotions and to push off thinking for another day. But when we no longer have those devices at our disposal, we’re left with only our minds, our willpower and our inner strength to carry us through the hard times. We’re forced to think and analyze our problems, to come up with solutions, and in doing so we may fail or make mistakes.
The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.
Does sobriety get easier over time?
When you push your way through the most difficult parts of life, things eventually begin to look up again. Sure, recovery still ebbs and flows. Some days are harder than others, but for the most part, it's gotten easier to be a person living a sober life.