Anxiety in Recovery

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[ang- zahy-i-tee]

distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
earnest but tense desire; eagerness: He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.

Psychiatry. a state of apprehension and psychic tension occurring in some forms of mental disorder.


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:

When I first came into recovery and for a long time, I suffered from anxiety. My anxiety wasn’t specific, but general. It wasn’t till I started studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, that I realised that I was suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

My anxiety in recovery would be categorised as a character defect, but no matter what the label first and foremost it is a feeling and a horrible one at that. I have not met a single person in recovery who hasn’t suffered from anxiety.

Many of us would have drank/used because of anxiety. The feeling was overwhelming and the only solution at the time was to get wasted. That respite did not last long as once you sobered up the anxiety came back tenfold, then we would just get wasted again.

Anxiety in recovery has to be faced as we cannot use alcohol or drugs as a crutch or antidote. This is extremely uncomfortable initially to do and every person in early recovery needs support here.

Anxiety plainly is a fear of an unknown future. So we know that it is fear based. How do we beat our fears? By facing our fears, head on.  As anxiety is also future based, how do we deal with that? By bringing our focus to the here and now.

Our subconscious mind cannot differentiate between real or actual from perceived. When we feel anxious, we trigger “Fight or Flight” and have an adrenaline surge. This worked well when we where cavemen, but not so now, unless someone or something is actually chasing you. In most cases though it is all in our minds (thoughts)

So there is the solution, live in the here and now and face your fears. Wish it was that easy. Dealing with your anxiety feelings and thoughts is like peeling an onion, one layer at a time. Seems like a mountain, yes, it can be.

Recovery is part of life and life is a journey, so instead of spending the rest of your life trying to combat all your anxieties, as will be like a quest for the Holy Grail, then turn your focus not on fighting the negative, but focusing on the positive.

I find if I am practising gratitude, for everything, my mood lifts and I have fewer anxious thoughts & feelings. When I do get an anxious thought, the emotional impact is now a lot less severe. No more heart stopping moments, sweats, or panic attacks. That is me, but it is important to find something that lifts your mood and really focus on this.

Facing fear with more fear creates even more fear, facing fear with love creates love.

My next article is on Anger, stay tuned.

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 blue box below.


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 on line 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 change, then I offer you, through my mentors, a no obligation FREE 7 day video series to watch.



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