Recovering from Addiction: Defeat Self-Doubt

It is common for those with addictions to have a lot of self-doubt about their ability to change. Many people turn to drugs initially because they don’t feel they are good enough and leaving the drugs behind can make those fears come flooding back. The fear of failure, fear of success, and fear of rejection can plague those who are starting down the path of recovery. By addressing each fear separately, it is possible to minimize the self-doubt that can make the recovery process more difficult.


Rehab for men often brings up fears about failure. No matter how long one has been sober, the fear remains that something may cause a relapse that would undo all the effort and hard work that went into the recovery process. This fear can come up in many different ways but the two most common are the fear that it won’t be possible to stay sober at all and the fear that one is incapable of recovery if there is a relapse.

When first contemplating rehabilitation efforts, many addicts will worry it isn’t worth even trying because they are certain that they are not strong enough or good enough to succeed. Having a support network of people who know how to help establish good routines and coping mechanisms can help alleviate this fear and make success seem more possible.

Unfortunately, many people will face challenges throughout their life that will leave them with the temptation to fall back into old habits. It is important to recognize from the beginning that this is a possibility and that while it is not the optimal outcome it is also not the end of the recovery process. The analogy of learning to ride a bike is appropriate. If you fall off the sobriety bike, it simply means you need to get up and try again. Failure is only the final outcome if you quit trying.


Interestingly, many people fear success almost as much as they fear failure. They have doubts that they will be able to enjoy their life if they are sober or that the life they will lead while sober will not be worth the pain and time it takes to achieve it. Going to meetings or talking to those who are at various stages of recovery can be a good way to address this concern. Obtaining first-hand accounts of success can be a great motivator.

The other fear of success is one that many people don’t consciously recognize at first, it is the fear that they don’t deserve to recover. Many people will unknowingly sabotage their own success and even their own lives because of deep feelings of being unworthy. If you find yourself thinking that sobriety and a happy life would be nice but isn’t for you, talking to a therapist independently may help uncover and address the underlying issues.


As with the other areas of self-doubt that can make recovery more difficult, the fear of rejection is multifaceted. There may be the fear that family and loved ones will reject your efforts or that your friends who are active in your life of addiction will reject you once you become sober.

Many addicts find that their family and closest friends from the time before they became addicted have lost a great deal of their faith in them. This can make it more difficult to approach those individuals about the process of recovery and rehabilitation. It is important to accept the idea that it may be impossible to mend these relationships and to recognize the goal is one’s personal well-being and happiness, not the acceptance of others.

The fear of losing those with whom one has spent time while using drugs or alcohol can cause a great deal of self-doubt as well. Questions about one’s identity, values, and life experiences will likely come up for addicts in the recovery process. It is possible that the people who choose to stay in that lifestyle will not wish to associate with someone who has gone through the recovery process. However, it is equally possible that as your preferences and choices change that it will be you who wishes for new friends.

The self-doubt that plagues those who are in the process of beating an addiction is all centered around various fears. By recognizing these fears and addressing them as they come up you will be able to push past them to your new life.

This entry was posted in Rehab. Bookmark the permalink.