What does it take for the mind to overcome the fear of Recovery?


Recovery is a good thing – even though can suck sometimes, it really is better to face life’s B.S. through lucidity than through the haze of Addiction. But, recovery doesn’t appear to be that easy of a sell; most of the time, people seem to be more willing to remain shackled than they seem to want to live freely. I don’t get it.

I do understand, however, that it’s tough to kick. I understand that biology and emotions can rule the mind and prevent even a first step towards health. I know of the mind becomes rutted a certain way that persists self-destructive behavior. I am no stranger to the mind’s power; recently I have found myself afraid of something and that fear is paralyzing, although on a much smaller scale.

I like to go to a local climbing gym. Most of the time, I attempt to climb on “boulders” that are not as high as the climbing wall and therefore do not require a harness. However, I do climb the wall, but I simply become paralyzed by fear when I get to the top. Not because of the height, but because I can’t rappel down the wall using the auto-belay machine.

Staff at the center has assured me that the machine will hold my weight safely. On own occasion, the worker dude told me to close my eyes, hold onto the belay cable, and let go. But in spite of his seemingly simple instructions, I couldn’t. I tried to let go; I did all I could to talk myself into rappelling down the wall, but the fear of letting go chained me to the wall. It was like I couldn’t breathe at the thought of crashing into the ground. I climbed down the wall, wearing out my already burning arms in the process. The worker dude laughed a bit and shook his head. He just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t let go.

On my way home, I couldn’t help but think that perhaps people don’t take steps towards recovery because the fear of letting go of their addiction is so strong that they’d rather hold on to it for dear life. To me, recovery seems like the better path, but to someone who’s fallen prey to Addiction’s lies, perhaps recovery seems like rappelling down a mountain without a safety net.

Maybe I need to let go of the wall when I go climbing again before I better understand what it takes to make that first step. Perhaps until I learn to conquer my own fear, I will sit on the sidelines like a water boy unable to relate to the mental capability involved in overcoming that strong initial fear. Maybe?


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