RELEASE FROM FEAR
The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible for us to attain. Then we shall need to find both the courage and grace to deal constructively with whatever fears remain.
— AS BILL SEES IT, p. 61
I was on vacation the last week and very much missed posting these. I look forward to continuing these daily reflections moving forward in perpetuity. NOTE:::
Most of my decisions were based on fear. Alcohol made life easier to face, but the time came when alcohol was no longer an alternative to fear. One of the greatest gifts in A.A. for me has been the courage to take action, which I can do with God’s help. After five years of sobriety I had to deal with a heavy dose of fear. God put the people in my life to help me do that and, through my working the Twelve Steps, I am becoming the whole person I wish to be and, for that, I am deeply grateful.
When talking about “life being easier to face” with alcohol it’s important to remember that you were never really “facing” life, but avoiding it. It’s like avoiding the dentist or a credit card bill, but on a larger scale. You can ignore the pain in your mouth or the bills in the mail, but that doesn’t mean they go away. In fact, they typically get significantly WORSE by avoiding those issues. The same goes for using alcohol or drugs to avoid dealing with life.
“Life on Life’s terms” is a phrase you hear often in recovery. What that phrase REALLY means is that you must learn to face life and deal with all aspects of it sober. We cannot always control what life throws our way, however we can control our reaction to it. Today my reaction to any stresses life throws at me is to NOT drink or drug, but to FIND a constructive outlet.
Fear. Fear can be a damn good motivator. Fear of consequence, whether it be the law or maybe losing a person you love. Here’s a perplexing question: Two people go to a doctors office, both are diagnosed with the same disease in which the doctor tells both that if they continue consuming sweets they will risk dying within the next 5 years. One person stops eating sweets, the other person shakes it off and buys a Mountain Dew and Twizzlers on the way home. What’s the difference between these two people? Why does one person hear that news and respond in a healthy manner and another person hear that news and respond in a way that will inevitably lead to their death?
I think the reason for the two different reactions is one person embraces the healthy fear and chooses to live with the acknowledgment of that fear and the awareness that it is a healthy way to react. The other avoids it and inevitably that avoidant behavior very well may lead to their death.
I wake up with every morning with a healthy fear of my disease and my recovery. Knowing that today I have to stay on the good side of sober and then I can think about tomorrow. That is THE serenity prayer. “Lord, help me to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. Your recovery will have a major influx of all feelings. Happiness, fear, sadness- however in your RECOVERY you will be able to manage and live with those feelings as they come as long as you work the program.
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