Anxiety & Recovery
Dealing with anxiety in healthy was is a valuable skill to learn but is also a major challenge in recovery. While in active addiction, we often used drugs or alcohol to avoid feelings of anxiety. If we can instead learn to turn to God to alleviate those feelings, we will no longer need to escape them by using.
Anxiety is a response to trying to control the outcome of a situation. We feel anxious when we fear that we will lose something we have, or that we will not get something that we desperately want. We have a choice to make when we recognize these fears. We can hang on to our attempts to control and to make the situation turn out in what we perceive to be our favor. Or we can let go and let God.
We are anxious because we believe that we must ensure that things turn out our way. We are anxious because we believe we cannot be happy unless we can control the people we love. We are anxious because life’s problems are more than we can handle, but we try to handle them on our own anyway.
God’s Solution To Dealing With Anxiety
God provides a solution. He invites us to give up our anxiety – to hand it over to him to manage. We do not have to take care of everything and everyone. We do not always have to know the right answer. Instead, we can choose to let God take care of us. We can bring our anxiety to him and lay it at his feet. He promises that he will lovingly care for our needs. He tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Responding to this invitation requires that we acknowledge that we do not have control. We must admit that we are not all powerful – God is. We must embrace our powerlessness. Responding to this invitation requires that we turn to God in humility. It requires that we release our control, our fear and the responsibility for the outcome of every situation to the perfect care of God.
It is in giving up our fear and control, admitting our powerlessness, that we finally find real power. We then understand what God means when he says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”