Every human has experienced fear, it is a powerful emotion and directly relates to our survival. But when we feel fear, our ability to be rationale is affected our brains develop something called lizard brain.
How does fear show up in our bodies? Our breathing may become labored, we may not be able to think clearly, or make decisions. Most of all, fear stops us in our tracks and impedes any positive forward motion.
In the same way that fears high jacks our brain, the effects of substance use work in the same way. Substance use creates memory pathways in our brain related to feeling good, resulting in behaviors that seek those same feelings. The brain becomes wired to crave and recreate the feel-good feelings from the first use. Good intentions will power, and any commitment to abstain becomes overwhelmingly shadowed by the craving of the substance used.
The lizard, non-thinking brain becomes obsessed with satisfying the urge to feel good. The world becomes a pitfall of triggers that remind the addict of how they achieved that euphoric feeling. These triggers might include the sound of ice clinking in a glass that creates an urge to drink for an alcoholic. Triggers could be location-based, a time of day, smells, people, and even the sound of laughter.
Is there a way to be free from fear and addiction? It is natural to desire the release from feelings of fear and from the devastating cravings of addiction. We all want to feel happy, productive, and self-fulfilled. With substance comes a sense of numbness, a way of escaping responsibility and surrendering to cravings and urges. Being numb is far different from feeling truly free. Freedom comes from a place of knowledge and choice where you decide what you can do and what you can’t.
It is possible to be afraid and feel fear without it overtaking you. It is also normal to feel afraid when faced with the unknown. How do we handle the feelings of fear when faced with the unknown? Having the courage and resilience to acknowledge the fear and choosing to curb the fear and move forward in positive ways. Choosing to face life with courage and resilience creates your freedom.
Triggers are an everyday reality. There will be situations so intense where your desires will feel nearly impossible to resist. Freedom comes when the choice to deal with challenges supports our commitment to sobriety. Our choices determine our outcome.
We are responsible for our choices and we can choose to act with that freedom to choose to move beyond fear and addiction. With freedom comes personal integrity, and a path to a productive and satisfying life.
Overcome the fear of asking for help with your addiction by harnessing your courage. At Healing Springs Ranch, we treat each patient with a uniquely personal and custom approach to recovery. Comprehensive health is a priority that often includes addiction counseling with an emphasis on mental health. Get in touch with our caring staff, and we will help you chart the path to recovering from addiction today.