Found on Facebook – Reflections of Addition

This is written by: Ed Brazell


For most families that have addiction in them suffer from fear. It is a constant reminder of what everyone has to deal with everyday and I’m talking about the entire family unit. It is a liar.

Here is the definition of Fear:

an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that that something bad will happen to someone.
synonyms: terror, fright, fearfulness, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress; anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, nervousness, nerves, perturbation, foreboding;informal the creeps, the shivers, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, jitteriness, twitchiness, butterflies (in the stomach).

The most important word: belief there is danger or perceive of the danger. Meaning that we think something bad is going to happen.

How we deal with these fears determines how our day turns out. A lot of people live in that fear, moment by moment and its a terrible existence.

Living in that moment can cause many, major issues, such as:

1. Weakens our immune system.
2. Causes ulcers.
3. Can impact of heart.
4. Can cause us to react in the wrong manner.
5. Fatigue, anxiety, depression, accelerated aging and even death.

What are our fears. There are a lot, but the ones that stick out the most are:

1. Getting sober. The mind is a powerful thing and can talk anyone into anything, especially when we’re using and our mind is in an alter state. It says you don’t need to be clean, you can do this yourself, what will everyone think, you might die if you stop, you’re no good, you can’t win so don’t even try, if you get clean your just going to use again…the list of fears just build up until the fear gets so strong that getting clean no longer matters.

Many have to be forced into recovery, some will finally come to that place where the pain is to great and some will never get there.

2. Family members stepping back. Fear is pretty much the driving force for everything that family members do when they find out that a love one is using. For many, everything we do is based in fear. The fears that are felt are many: They will od, They will die or be left in a coma, they will be arrested, they will go back to jail, what will happen to the children, just to mention a few.

We must learn another way of living with this fear or at least not all the time, instead of cling to them. It’s really hard but there are methods to do this and some are easy.

I will say that the last thing that anyone wants is to be ridiculed, made fun, have pity for them. Remember fear is a primal emotion and can cause other emotions such as anger when confronted.

Here are a few techniques:

1. Write the fear down, write why you’re fearful and then reword your fear into a statement that doesn’t have fear in it and has a positive twist. In some cases you’ll realize that there is really no reason to have fear. A fear: My son will leave rehab!, Reword: My son is at rehab and he is working on himself. See the truth is your son hasn’t left and he is still there so that really isn’t a fear. Will he leave, maybe, but fear shouldn’t be used until a action has occurred.

2. Gratitude. Whenever you feel fear switch it to gratitude. Instead of: My son will leave rehab!, say: I’m very grateful that my son has made it this far.

3. Talk to people in the same situation. Ask their advise but don’t use it to start your own pity party. It helps to hear what other people have to say about it. If you don’t like some of the responses then take a moment and think why they might be saying it like that. If you can’t figure out why, then ask nicely if they can explain a little more. Remember you’re looking for solutions.

4. Find a distraction, Instead of holding up in the house just waiting for the shoe to fall. Many of us get to worrying so much that we are literally frozen in place. A distraction is a great tool and can quickly take your mind off of the doom. Go to a show, call a old friend you haven’t spoke to in years, go to the local shelter or food bank and help out. Find something to busy your day so you have less time to dwell on the fear.

5. Find a good book. Doesn’t matter what type, except that you like it and it keeps you glued to it. I suggest a motivational book. They are good reading and also pick up your spirits.

6. Letting go of the control. We want control and predictability, even though it’s impossible to get. Where we don’t have control, we experience fear. But is it possible to ever have control. Even if you can swim doesn’t mean you can’t drown.

7. Yoga exercises. It can do amazing things to both your body and mind. Here are the great benefits of yoga: You sleep better, you get a good workout without the impact, your mind is at rest because of the types of things you’re doing.

8. Breathing. Some people have eliminated their fear simply by changing the way they breathe. The connection between the mind and the body centers on breathing properly
The first moment you realize that you are short of breath it is best to pause where you are, place one hand on your belly & begin to mindfully inhale & exhale. Relax the body by laying down, sitting or taking some kind of a comfortable position that begins to release muscle tension. Inhale through the nose then exhale through the mouth
Take longer to exhale than to inhale, Slow down your breathing by slowing down the mind or fear based stimulation. Practice until it becomes your natural breathing pattern.

9. Give it to God and let it go. Many people say this to others without really thinking about it. It is probably the most liberating way of getting rid of fear and the hardest to do. We as humans want to control everything, but letting go means I will trust in something else bigger than me. Saying the saying will not free you, thinking won’t either. The only true way you can do this is the simple word: Believe! First we must believe that our greater power (God for Me) will take over when we let go. As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend, I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend. But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help, with ways that were my own. At last, I snatched them back and cried, “How can you be so slow?” “My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.”

10. Take Action. It’s time to take a hold of fear and take a step through the unknown door. I say unknown door, but most of the time we know what’s on the other side and we just don’t want to deal with it. As we step out more and more we teach ourselves without even knowing that we are stronger than we think. Fear starts to dwindle down to something manageable. In most cases when we face our fear, we realize that it was all that bad after all.

Ed Brazell