Change: Scary, Empowering, and Necessary

MarilynDavisatTIERSStarred Page By MarilynDavisatTIERS, 13th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Recovery & Coping

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” ― C. JoyBell C.

Why is Change So Scary?

For most of us, the thought of changing long entrenched patterns of our lives is scary. After all, we have done or been something for so long that those actions, behaviors, thoughts and feelings are mechanical or habituated; in other words they are the norm.

However, If we stop and look at the most predictable excuses for not changing, and then offer some alternatives, perhaps this will be the day you make the decision to change.

Fear of the Unknown

Most of us want to know and understand the risks and the outcome of a decision before we act upon that particular choice. It is simply part of being cautious, or is it something greater? Many of us are looking for a guarantee that this action will produce better outcomes than another action. Yet, in our addiction, we willingly ingested unknown substances in the hopes of changing our feelings, thoughts or reality.

Where did we find the resolve to simply try something different? Most of us were willing, because we did not like the current reality of our lives. Therefore, if we do not like our bodies, our jobs, or our financial circumstances, we can apply the same trust to other changes.

Recovery has been around in one form or another for over seventy years and as such, the wealth of information about changing from active addiction to recovery is immense. A simply search on Bing or Google will garner you multiple methods, philosophies and ways of recovering. Use them. There are no wrong choices; there may be some that only get you slightly closer to your goal of recovery; yet each step forward is one step removed from your active addiction.

Self-doubt

It is difficult to contemplate making sound choices when so many of our choices and decisions in our active addiction have produced nothing but negative outcomes. We begin to think that we are incapable of making decisions based on good judgment. That is to be expected. Therefore, it might be necessary to ask others or research how others have recovered. Again, that simple search; however, beyond that simple search is the reassurance that once the chemicals are no longer driving the decisions, many of us do become smarter in our choices.

One simple way to increase your confidence and begin to displace the self-doubt is make your recovery a goal. Now that you have the larger goal, what sub-goals would you need to accomplish it?

Make Recovery a Goal

When you set realistic sub-goals towards your goal of recovery, one or more of these will help you accomplish progress and in turn, elevate your confidence in your decision making abilities and rewarding yourself for these accomplishments means that you value your improvements.

I Have To Do This Alone

As you can see from the chart above, most of the help initially comes from others; therefore, the false belief that change is solely your knowledge, information or abilities is incorrect. We actually draw on the experiences of others in our recovery to help guide our personal changes. Does that mean that they make the changes for us? Certainly not, however, we draw strength, encouragement and support from others who have made the same life-altering changes to assist us in our own changes.

Relinquishing Control Bothers Me

Too often people want to control their recovery; yet if we are realistic, our choices in our addiction have netted us, our families, employers and society less than favorable outcomes. Therefore, relinquishing control of outcomes is vital for us to be able to control the aspects that we can. For instance, I can control which meetings or therapies I participate in; I cannot control what will be said, what will be put forth for me to examine within myself, nor the knowledge gained. I can control what I do with any information or suggestions, however, and in that I find a measure of peace.

I Always Have an Option

I think one of the fundamental or basic underlying truths about recovery is that each day I have an option about any of the following:

Positive or Negative? Operate from Fear or Courage?

Acknowledging that we are scared or fearful is not a sign of weakness; it is an acknowledgement of corresponding humanness. People sometimes assume that because I have been in recovery for almost 26 years, I am this fearless creature, not really human, but something greater. More specifically, when I entered treatment, I had a choice of two outcomes – change or stay the same.

Each of those choices had a fear. So there was no avoiding the fear, however, the fear of staying the same was greater than changing, so I changed. Weigh your own fears today and determine which the greater fear is; it might motivate you to change as it did for me.


For additional articles on Addiction and Recovery by Marilyn Davis

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Credits:
Scared Young Woman and Fortune Teller: Wikimedia Commons
Charts: Marilyn Davis for Addicted Minds

Tags

Addiction, Addicts, Alcoholics, Change Is Empowering, Change Is Necessary, Change Is Scary, Changing In Recovery, Recovery, Recovery Changes

Meet the author

author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
A Certified Addiction Recovery Empowerment Specialist, with 25 years of abstinence-based recovery. I write about addictions, recovery, life lessons and general writing tips.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
13th Jul 2014 (#)

such a powerful piece Marilyn..and change is a constant in our lives...yes!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
13th Jul 2014 (#)

Good evening, Steve; thank you for moderating and for the star. I appreciate both. ~Marilyn

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
13th Jul 2014 (#)

Good evening, Carolina; thank you. Our attitude about change makes all the difference. I appreciate your kind words. ~Marilyn

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author avatar spirited
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Great practical advise here Marilyn, never pushy, just suggested.

Well crafted.

I liked this line:

"I can control what I do with any information or suggestions, however, and in that I find a measure of peace."

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good evening, Spirited. Thank you. Besides balking at change, I think many of us resist when others tell us what to do, even when we know it's the right idea or direction to take, so I try to not be pushy, just sharing my experiences and hope that others can adopt them, modify them to fit their lives, and find meaning in their recovery and lives. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Great article. Happy to see you posting here.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good evening, Phyl; thanks. Glad to be back. ~Marilyn

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author avatar snerfu
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Hello MarilynDavisatTiers, I liked reading this very nice article though sometime I feel like I am talking to my big sister. She often tells me to wipe my feet and this used to puzzle me when I was young. So, if your article leaves me a bit confused you understand.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good morning, Snerfu; now I am wondering if you know why to wipe your feet, now....some of my messages from childhood made no sense to me at the time, either. (She laughs). Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate both and your addition to the article. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Mariah
14th Jul 2014 (#)

I never fail to admire the work you do Marilyn, your contributions without doubt will have helped so many people and will continue to do so, and as you always say, many of the posts you write are also reflective of life situations and not just in recovery, change is
something I find difficult to adapt to and this has one has particularly helped me in understanding and prioritising my feelings about moving house.
Thank you xx

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good morning, Mariah; this simple exercise works for those overwhelming issues in life, not just recovery as you point out. Change is difficult for us all; just remember to weigh the fear of staying the same or changing. Works for lots of situations. Thanks for your kind words and comment. ~Marilyn

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author avatar C.D. Moore
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Well said Marilyn! We can accept change as a part of life an be a co-creator or be dragged kicking and screaming and feeling like a victim.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good morning, C.D.; and your comment is well said, also. I must admit that I was dragged early in my recovery. I thought I should have more control, better options, or that change should not come so fast. Fortunately, I got over most of those illusions with the help of my mentor. Thanks for reading and commenting. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Retired
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Change is inevitable...good piece...thank you for sharing.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
14th Jul 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Valerie; I appreciate your comment. Thanks. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Retired
15th Jul 2014 (#)

I shall pass this piece on to some folks who could use it.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
15th Jul 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, LeRain; feel free to use as you see fit. I sent a link of your "I'm Sorry" to some friends to use in their recovery group. There were so many powerful examples of why it is an overused and trite expression today. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Jul 2014 (#)

Opportunities for change should not be brushed away with a take we are comfortable as we not know what is in store for us. Well presented, Marilyn - siva

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
27th Jul 2014 (#)

Good morning, Siva; I have no idea who said it; however, the point is that most of us regret the opportunities that we did not take and so as you state, we should not brush them aside without careful consideration of them. Thanks for reading and commenting. ~Marilyn

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author avatar Margaret Michel
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Change is the only constant!

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
7th Aug 2014 (#)

Good afternoon, Margaret, that is so true. I think that we forget that sometimes. Thanks for the reminder. ~Marilyn

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