Recovery Fears: Still Sitting on the Fence?



By: Marilyn L. Davis



Fears Reside with Us on the Fence


from addict 2 advocate sitting on the fence


Unfortunately, as my mentor told me, “All you get by sitting on the fence is splinters in your ass.” Well, that just said it all. 

Of course, he didn’t stop there – he never did.

He’d get my attention and then ask me questions to help me see where I might be resisting, unwilling, or seemingly unable to change. Not to label myself as your mentor, but to pass on the questions he asked me so that if you’re sitting on the fence, you might find the courage to get off it. 


Examine Your Attitudes and Actions



Still Sitting on the Fence? 


There are just as many reasons for sitting on the fence as there are people, so how you state your reasons for not changing might differ from others, but they tend to fall into the following rationalizations for not changing: 

“I do not change because:

These are all possibilities. However, the most important reason is the one that keeps you sitting on the fence.


Sitting on the Fence Creates Conflict


When I’m conflicted about choices or decisions, I try to remember this quote, “I can attempt to stay on the fence. However, the problem is that the fence is a figment of my fear, not a reality of my journey.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough, Stuck in Fear, So We Justify It

While you’re honest and admit that you have not liked all aspects of your life, you will sometimes stay stuck in the mindset that prompted the problems in your life, and you stubbornly refuse to change.  

Only when you are willing to replace rationalization and justification with the right actions and the process that can help you change, will you change and improve. 

Below are some of the ways you can stay stuck:



Ready to Get Off the Fence?


What can you do when you realize you’re sitting on the fence about changing? What are your options for help?

When you realize you are stuck, ambivalent about changing, or just scared of changes, one alternative is to bring this up in your recovery support meeting to discuss with your peers. They also face or have faced many of the same stumbling blocks in their recovery, as you may now be experiencing.

They are a valuable resource, and learning to use them as such gives you other perspectives on what, how, and why to change. Furthermore, they are often encouraging and supportive of you when you are struggling with the conflicting emotions and opinions about the changes you want to make in your life. 


Which Side is More Appealing?


“When the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change, people will change.” ~Author Unknown – It’s amusing to me that ‘author unknown’ means it could be any of us.

I think it's all of us in early recovery. We're scared of staying in our addiction and scared of the unknown called recovery, so we often get stuck on the fence. Click To Tweet


Pick a Side


On the one hand, you know you need to change, but on the other, you are afraid that your changes won’t be good enough. When you talk about your ambivalence, you can hear yourself being conflicted. 

You can decide which side of the fence you will land on because sitting on the fence in the case of addiction vs. recovery is risky.

Maybe it’s time to decide which side do you want to be on – staying the same or overcoming your fear and changing? 

Besides, those splinters hurt!



Writing, and recovery heals the heart.



When you’re ready to tell us how you got off the fence and found recovery, consider a guest post.





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8 thoughts on “Recovery Fears: Still Sitting on the Fence?

    1. Hi, Rick. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting. I appreciate all of them. I was told 29 years ago that when I give away information that is helpful, it frees up space in my head to learn something new, so passing along what’s worked for me means I am free to learn something, too.

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