Anxiety and Fear of the Unknown

During the early stages of recovery, many people feel anxiety and fear of the unknown. Not knowing what’s coming during and after the recovery process creates a fragile state of mind that pushes some people to avoid the recovery process altogether. Understanding what common fears occur with people who choose treatment and how they learn to overcome these emotions is essential to your recovery process. Below, you will learn more about anxiety and fear of the unknown. You will also see how to focus and trust in the recovery process. This understanding can make all the difference in your journey.

Common Concerns and Fears of Recovery

There are many reasons someone would feel anxious about going into recovery. The hesitation of not knowing what the future holds increases anxiety and builds up walls of fear. If you feel nervous, anxious, or scared of going to treatment, remember you’re not alone.

There are many more reasons to fear not going through the recovery process and other reasons for going. However, educating yourself about common fears and concerns deepens your connection and understanding with the recovery process, even if you have already been through treatment before.


In the beginning stages of recovery, you may experience anxiety about letting go of old friends and previous relationships. You may feel scared or feel some anxiety build up because of the potential isolation. Furthermore, you may feel nervous about being isolated as you’re letting go of your substance use.

Many people have this common fear of loneliness or isolation. However, letting go of previous connections when you let go of your substance use is essential for your recovery. It may feel upsetting or increase your anxiety levels. However, once you experience the support given from recovery, you’ll find new friends and fresh perspectives to help avoid loneliness and isolation from this point forward.


A sober life is an overwhelming thought as you look towards your future, and you may have concerns or anxious thoughts of feeling as if you are weak. Weakness is a common concern and fear that crawls around the back of your mind and may increase your stress. In reality, though, you can’t have a lifelong recovery without taking the first step of the journey.

The fear of being weak or not having what it takes is part of your anxiety and stress. However, weakness is the furthest thing from the truth when you reach out your hand to ask for help. The recovery journey is there to build you up through minor accomplishments and re-establish the strength and bravery you had in yourself all along. You’re not weak when you embark on the recovery journey. You are brave, ambitious, and understanding. The small steps you take will increase your self-awareness and make the recovery journey possible.


Those introduced to the recovery process have hesitation because of natural change. You may feel that the substances help you cope with complicated thoughts and your lifestyle. However, the substances are just masking the pain. Addressing the core elements of substance use may increase your anxiety and make you feel uneasy.

It’s difficult to change yourself if you don’t know who you have on your side or what steps you need to take. Change is hard, but it is also a natural process in life. Your anxiety can increase if you fear the unknown and change.

In addition, remember that others who are going through the recovery process fear the same change you do. You can develop yourself into a better version and relate to those around you. With the right support and guidance, the transformation is easier to handle.


Part of the recovery process is removing the toxins from your body. You may have anxious feelings and thoughts about the withdrawal process because you don’t want to feel pain or want to deal with the withdrawals psychologically.

The staff put in place in the recovery facility is prepared to help you through the process. They give you healing, comfort, and medical help the entire time. They’ll help ease your withdrawal symptoms and prevent any dangerous reactions as you remove the toxins from your body.

How Anxiety Plays a Role in Your Fears

Due to the common concerns and fears in recovery, your anxiety may increase. Anxiety is an emotion and a reaction that is a natural element of life. Many fears contribute to stress factors and anxiety. This anxiety can either be used as a tool to help you along your journey or can be used as a detriment that holds you back.

When you identify your fears and eliminate your concerns, anxiety is reduced and redirected into more of a positive direction. You may start feeling anxious about building trust with others or identifying concerns attributed to substance use. However, once you overcome your anxiety, you can build on your confidence and develop your life into a brighter future. Anxiety is part of the recovery process because you want to feel safe and comfortable.

NorthStar Transitions understands how imperative it is to address your anxiety and your fears in treatment and recovery. With an innovative treatment process and a compassionate team of professionals, you can have the help to overcome and move through the fear towards a brighter future. We help people from all walks of life with mental health disorders recover with a confidential treatment program that meets their needs. We’re here to help you overcome your anxiety and fears. When you understand your anxiety, you can learn how to adapt and apply the methods that are essential for your lasting recovery. Our staff will help you look at your fears and anxiety, face them head-on, and overcome them. There is hope and healing within our approach, and we personalize treatment plans to your unique situation. Contact us today so we can get you started toward eliminating your fears and addressing your anxiety about recovery. To learn more, call us at (303) 558-6400.

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