Alcoholics, addicts, compulsive gamblers and codependents usually have elevated levels of anxiety and more anxiety attacks.
There ways to deal with anxiety that are complimentary to the 12 Steps. These are;
- Accept that anxiety is a normal part of life. It is not a sign that you are going mad or a bad person
- Don’t try to find out the reason for your anxiety. Searching for a reason only increases it due to frustrated searching. You may not find the source because the cause is normally out of awareness, subconscious.
- Don’t try to control the anxiety. Attempting to control anxiety creates more anxiety and if control fails it only increases anxiety.
- Just let it be. Accept your anxiety as a signal
Anxiety will lessen if you leave it alone. The thing that keeps anxiety alive is constant thinking about it.
Addictive people have abnormal levels of fear.
Reinterpret your anxiety. One usual interpretation of anxiety is that it comes from the fear of the need to change.
Thus, other ways to look at fear are;
- A fear of change is really a desire to live a better life,
- A fear of illness is really a desire for good health,
- A fear of being nothing is really a desire for a full life,
- A fear of meaninglessness is really a desire for meaningfulness.
- A fear of being angry is really a desire to be serene.
- A fear of drinking, drugging or gambling is really a desire to be clean and sober.
Take hold of your fears and reinterpret the meaning of fear to be a desire for a better, sober, clean, gambling free life.
Action is more important than the emotions of anxiety.
Instead of focusing on the feeling and fear of being clean, sober and bet free, one can focus on functional, productive activities.
In other words use the energy of anxiety to go through the process of recovery.
Concentrate on your recovery program and relax. Let go and let your Higher Power deal with it.
- To fight is to increase anxiety
- To flee is to postpone anxiety
- To face and take action is to grow free