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Overcoming Fear of Failure

Bo Brown
| July 12, 2018

When individuals with addiction hit rock bottom and are faced with the reality of treatment, they are often faced with many fears. It could be the fear of life without alcohol and drugs or fear of the unknown.  One of the biggest fears I faced was the fear of failure. By that time in my life, I viewed my life as a failure. I felt I was weak, mentally unstable and useless.

I thought, “Why should I try to get sober when I would most likely end up failing?”

However, when push came to shove, I had no other choice. My health was failing and I was dangerously close to becoming unemployed. So, I faced my fears and chose treatment because I had no other options in my life.

My family was no stranger to addiction. I had experienced a loved one get clean and relapse many times over and over again. This was the only experience I had with recovery. So, it was no surprise that I myself believed that recovery would be a long road. However, I finally came to a place where I decided to give it a try and see how it would go.

Little did I know the transformation that would take place.

My Mental Journey in Rehab Treatment

  • Week 1: The first week of detox was a fog. I went where I was told to go, did what was expected and just went through the motions.
  • Week 2: The second week, my head started to clear and I began to listen and feel better.
  • Week 3: The third week, I began to get scared of the damage that I had done to my body, and I started to take this recovery thing seriously. I called a friend and asked them to take everything out of my house that could lead to a relapse.
  • Week 4: The fourth week, I began to think about my future outside of the confines of treatment and looked for a safe place to go while trying to survive in the outside world.

The next month, I lived in a sober living facility that helped me re-enter the real world with a safety net. It made me hold myself accountable for my sobriety. During those two months, my fear of failure changed to my need to succeed.

Staying Sober After Treatment

Throughout the next year, my fear of failure began to decline. I used the tools I learned in treatment to get over my fears:

  • I made sure to attend as many meetings as I could.
  • I met people in recovery that had multiple years of success.
  • I saw a therapist and psychiatrist to manage my medications.
  • I read books to educate myself on addiction and recovery.
  • I got a sponsor and I worked the steps.
  • I listened to others and I learned.
  • I poured my entire being into recovery and not fear.

Today, I no longer live in fear of the unknown.

There are still some instances in my life that cause apprehension and stress, but I rely on those basic tools of mindfulness that I learned when I was getting sober. When I apply these techniques, I am able to face my uncertainties head on. For those that are sick and tired of being sick and tired, don’t let fear stand in your way. You would be surprised how resilient your soul can be fighting your doubts head on.

Today I choose to not live in fear.

If you would like to share your story with Heroes in Recovery, you can contact me at and I can help guide you through the process. When you share your story, you are helping break the stigma associated with addiction and mental health disorders. Please share my blog and comment. I love hearing from you.

Much love,

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