FOMO in Early Recovery

Posted Jun 4, 2022

sad cartoon man looking down


FOMO stands for fear of mission out.

Warning: Fear of missing out on the drug lifestyle can cause relapse and keep an addict trapped in addiction.

If you are new to recovery or want to get clean, you need to be able to deal with FOMO without getting high.

This article will give you the tools you need to overcome FOMO in your recovery.

FOMO in Drug Addiction Recovery

Early recovery is hard. You are learning to deal with your emotions without drugs. Life is anything but fun in the first months of sobriety.

During this stage, our brain plays tricks on us. We tend to forget all the misery that addiction caused and focus instead on the good feelings that drugs gave us.

When this happens, an addict is susceptible to FOMO.

There are three main things that an addict fears missing out on when they stop drugs.

  1. The High
  1. The Lifestyle
  1. The People

If you find yourself fixating on any of these things, do something to snap your head out of it ASAP!

Risks of FOMO in Early Recovery

FOMO can have devastating effects on a person's recovery.

During the first year of sobriety, an addict's mindset is fragile. We are learning how to live without having drugs as a coping mechanism.

We have got to be vigilant during this phase of recovery. If we let ourselves spiral mentally or fail to manage our emotions, setbacks will occur.

Here are three effects that FOMO can have on an addict in recovery...

The risks of FOMO for recovering addicts are dramatic. Fear of missing out has taken people out of recovery and back into drug addiction.

How to Deal With FOMO in Recovery

Most addicts will experience FOMO when they stop using drugs; I know I did. So, it is important to be prepared and recognize the signs so you can deal with it.

Throughout my time in drug use and recovery, I have picked up a few tricks to help handle the fear of missing out.

Trick 1. Pro's and Con's List - This may sound lame, but it really can help. When you find yourself fixating on an aspect of drug use that you miss, write it down on a piece of paper in the pro's column. For every pro that you come up with, think ahead in your experience and find a con to write down. For example, a pro could be, "It feels so good to get high." Then a con would be something like, "When I'm high, my family doesn't want me around." Add to your list throughout your recovery and read it when you feel like you're missing out.

Trick 2. Remember the Bad Times - When you catch yourself missing out on something from addiction, force yourself to relive a painful moment that drugs caused you. This can snap you out of that FOMO daze where drug use seems so great and fun. We've all had moments in addiction that were painful. Pick one and try to remember the emotions you felt when you went through it.

Trick 3. Talk to Someone - When dealing with FOMO talking to someone who understands your situation can help. If you are in rehab, then talk to your counselor. If you have a sponsor or therapist, talk to them. Whoever it is, tell them exactly what it is you feel like you're missing out on. Saying these things out loud to somebody can help put things into perspective. Listen to the advice they give and talk through it.

FOMO is just your addiction's way of tricking you. It shows you only the good times you had with drugs and blinds you to the reality that they made you miserable. It is crucial to have some tricks of your own; so you don't wind up relapsing.

How to Avoid FOMO in Early Recovery

There are things that we can do in early recovery that will help us avoid FOMO.


FOMO in early recovery is something that addicts will most likely experience. It can have detrimental effects on our recovery and even lead to relapse.

There are several tricks that we can employ if we start to feel like we are missing out. Pro's and Con's list as well as talking to somebody who understands your situation can help when dealing with FOMO.

We can do things to try and avoid feeling like we are missing out. Staying vigilant and avoiding places from your past are good ways to help prevent FOMO.

Aritcle by Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a recovering drug addict and author. By sharing his experience in drug addiction and recovery, he hopes to help families who have been impacted by this disease.

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