Millennials came up with a term to describe the feeling of being on the outside of something that you want to be a part of. FOMO or “fear of missing out” is actually common issue that people experience when they are going through recovery. It is natural for people to worry, especially for those who have made a major lifestyle change, that they are missing out on fun and memorable experiences.
The term FOMO is something that came about due to social media and our generation’s tendency to compare their lives to others online. The fear of missing out can be pervasive, however, and can lead to dissatisfaction with life, depression and anxiety. For people in recovery, they may constantly fear that they are being excluded from the excitement of parties and drinking that their friends are still able to enjoy.
It can be helpful to analyze why we experience FOMO and find ways to understand the cause of negative thoughts or fears. For people in recovery, they often get to a point where they only remember the good times they associate with drinking and parties and forget all the reasons they decided to quit. Reminding yourself that not every drinking experience was fun and there were a lot of negative consequences can help put things into perspective.
For those who are really struggling with their fears and negative thoughts about their life, you can try to track your thoughts and talk to a therapist about them. They may give you ideas about why you are feeling this way and suggest ways to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones. Part of recovery is working through the fear of being on the outside of certain experiences you may have had in the past and learning to embrace your new lifestyle.