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Fear-Fueling the Fire in Addiction

Fear was the fuel that kept my alcoholism a raging inferno

Fear was the fuel that kept my alcoholism a raging inferno. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of finances, fear of love, fear of facing myself in the mirror. I had zero self worth and I would imagine everything a failure before it ever even began. Simple life tasks such as making a phone call to a creditor, parenting my children, just being slightly honest became overwhelming. My magnifying mind would enlarge every scenario I could imagine into a negative reality leaving me paralyzed in my own self centered ocean of fear. Family and friends could help me see the insanity of my fears and that I could and would overcome them but this would just allow me the chance to wallow in my own self-pity and shame. In such an unnatural way I could manipulate it all into an excuse to stay in my bottle of alcohol comfort even when I really knew it gave me no real comfort at all.

Face Everything And Recover

So how do we face fear? Overcome fear? Just like all of recovery it is a day at a time practice. Once we get sober we gradually begin to see the insanity of our fear. We summon the courage to Face Everything And Recover. I would start in prayer and to place all my faith and trust in my God who had delivered me from my addiction. I would ask for the strength to face my fears and for God to remove the defect I had with fear. I then would face it, I would take some sort of action.  It might take me a few days to get there but I would slowly make progress and not let the fear completely paralyze me. I would remember the fear was magnified in my mind, get out of my own head, and reduce the fear to what its right size really was. The more fears I faced the stronger I became and the fears that used to seem so overwhelming began to seem like challenges I could conquer. I don’t know that we will ever be free from fear but I do know it gets better and brings us to a place of serenity. Today I still deal with fear, and it may take me some time but I have the faith that everything will be as it should and I can get through them without the urge to use or drink. I realize I can, I am worth it, and I will grow through my fears as I recover.

The Watershed Addiction Treatment Program gave 6 Steps to Getting through Fear:

  1. Awareness-Remove denial and acknowledge your fear.
  2. Identify-Name your fears and be specific.
  3. Gratitude-Be thankful for how far you have come and see the great possibilities on the other side of fear.
  4. Take Action-Get a plan to face your fears and then talk to someone about it.
  5. Surrender-Give up control. Whatever is keeping you in fear, let it go.
  6. Maintenance-Write a journal, seek counseling, meditation and prayer, go to AA or other support groups.

Today I am aware of my fears, I readily admit them and identify them. I get out of self and reduce my fear to what it really is. Then I take some sort of action, even if the progress is slow. I then share my fears as I gain support and strength knowing others have overcame and or are going through the same situations. As God guides me through my fears my life continues to be transformed as His blessings and favor are poured out upon me.

Fear will be around.  It will come at us when we least expect it. Be confident and hopeful because its something we can overcome and with God on our side, its simple, we win. If you have found something that works well for you in facing your fears please leave it in a comment. I would love to hear it and have it shared with others. We are all in this together.


  1. Enjoy reading your posts Kip. They are so strongly rooted in the message. I love those acronyms. I’ve also heard that Fear is only False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear drove my life in addiction too. Mainly, I remember that when I was happy, I was afraid it was going to be wiped away the next day (or when I was doing good, I feared I’d screw it up) and when I was down, depressed if you want to call it that, I feared that period would never end.
    How great to be on the faith side of fear!

    • Thanks for your comment Mark. I love these acronyms too. Was afraid of being afraid. Now we just learn how to cope with our fear in healthy ways instead of a drink or drug. I sure appreciate you following me and hope that it gives back in a way that those who gave to save me.

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