Fearless Changing During Addiction Recovery


No matter how difficult the past, we know its story. We know how the movie ends. Why?  Because it lies in the past. What else is unavoidable? Change. No matter how much we desire, anticipate, or don’t expect change, it can be challenging all the same. With no known road ahead of us, we are left to rewrite the story. Unlike in the past, we don’t know how the future will end. 

Danger, it seems, lies all around us. Some of us might know the fairy story about the troll beneath the bridge, preventing the goats from crossing to the other side: The Three Billy Goats Gruff. The field where the billy goats lived was out of grass; on the other side, across the bridge, lay lots of lush grass. However, every time one of the goats attempted to cross the bridge, a troll appeared, threatening to eat them all up.

This bridge is a bit like our brain. Whenever we attempt to make changes or leave our comfort zone, the troll emerges. It threatens to consume our plans and the dreams we have for ourselves. Even though we know making substantial changes is the right thing to do, the troll, via our thought patterns, tells us we are not worthy, we cannot change, and it is too late to do anything else. Since your fear lives inside you, it knows every thought, every concern, and anticipated reply.

Real Life vs. Fairytale

We fear change because we don’t know the outcome. Our brain, though, based on a history of negative messaging and failures perceived either by you or others, is only too happy to lend a hand in the form of fear messaging. Say hi to your personal troll. But, your life is not a fairytale. It’s for real. You are the author of your story, and your addiction is the part you would like to change. This, you know, will take courage, persistence, and determination. As the author, you need to stand on that bridge and fight back.

Here’s How You Can Fight Addiction

  1. Accept you don’t have all the answers, and that is okay. It is perfectly fine to not know everything. So what if you are not sure what long term therapy might look like or how you will fit it in around your job? Your job is to place one foot in front of the other and move forward. Staying where you are is not working.
  2. Understand that there will be bad days, better days, not to great days, and fantastic days. Such an assortment of moods is relatively typical. Don’t forget, you are coming off mood-altering substances; therefore, you should expect some clearing out of emotional issues, in addition to some physical discomfort as your body rids itself of toxins.
  3. Be confident that this is your journey and you are not alone. You must take that first step, but once you get past that fear, there are many people—both professionals and peers—who understand your hurt and your pain and want to help you through it.
  4. Be strong. Tell yourself again and again that you can do this and that you hold more potential than you could ever realize.
  5. Visualize your success. Cross the bridge, fight the fear, and make it to the lush, green pasture ahead of you.
  6. Remember that setbacks are not a reflection of you; they are only the circumstances you are walking your way out of. And the troll on the bridge? The last billy goat, standing his ground, challenged the troll to do his worst. The troll did and was last seen floating down-stream on the current. He was no match for our goat in the story. He is no match for you.


Change—no matter how desired, anticipated, or unexpected—can be challenging. With no known road ahead of us, we are left to write the story. We fear change because we don’t know the outcome. We need to challenge the fear lurking within every positive thing we do to improve ourselves. Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains’ inspiring landscape, the Detox Center of Colorado offers a solution-based transitional residence program aimed at accountability and recovery. We look forward to helping you explore the range of supportive treatment and aftercare options available to you. Call the Detox Center of Colorado at (303) 952-5035.

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