FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out. Everyone wants to feel comfortable in their own skin. A way many try to achieve this is to be the popular party socialite who is the life of the party, the guy who always buys the drinks, or the person who is always the last man standing. FOMO can get you to every party and drinking will keep you there. FOMO is what can keep the addiction going for far too long.

Sobriety and fear of missing out often go hand in hand.

“What if something fun happens that I miss?”

“What if I can’t have fun without a drink?”

“I’m so lame for staying in and not socializing.”

The FOMO phenomenon is inherent in the brain of every addict. That is one of the reasons they’re always chasing the next high. Addicts and alcoholics often tend to overthink and experience FOMO in a more exaggerated sense, because they tend to be more impulsive and can experience higher levels of anxiety. FOMO actually gives a skewed vision of the world. It plays into the part of the disease that wants more, more, and more.

Fear of missing out (FOMO) and comparison are sisters of each other. We often compare ourselves to others lives and experiences. We think we are missing out based on the highlight reels we see from others, especially in social media these days.

It’s natural for humans to experience small forms of FOMO, but for an alcoholic or an addict this can actually become a trigger for relapse.

How to Combat FOMO

The best medicine for FOMO is getting sober. It can take a few months to let loose and realize that FOMO can have you in its grips only during active addiction. FOMO can be a real danger for those in recovery. It can bring many alcoholics close to relapse. That feeling of missing out can creep up at the most unexpected times and be a trigger, making you long for your former life. If you’re sober and FOMO is still rearing its ugly head in your life, this is the time to remember your past and why it’s your past. Think of how far you’ve come and where you’re going. One question that can put FOMO in perspective is: Will drinking alcohol make this situation any better?

So the key is to stop worrying about missing out and start living life, right now, in this moment. A happy life without alcohol and FOMO is possible! Go for it! Sobriety brings on a new freedom and a new peace.

Setting goals is another really good way to stay on track. When you have something you are working towards, you are more likely going to want to spend your time fulfilling the goal and chasing that dream. This way when you find yourself continuously checking social media or thinking about what you’re missing, you can kindly remind yourself that those things don’t align with your goals right now.

It is in our human nature to flex the comparison muscle or desire belonging, even if sometimes we search for it in the wrong forms. However, in recovery, it’s important to have some strategies in place for combatting that inner FOMO beast that can be extremely tricky at times.

The idea of going sober is to better yourself and your life, not to feel like you are weird, isolated or missing out on life. Sometimes when we become aware of our thoughts around this concept, we realize it is our own negative thinking and bad habits that actually can keep us feeling the most separated.

“How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it.” –Paul Coehlo


Tired of addiction calling the shots?

ARCA’s Addiction treatment changes lives. Call us for more info.