Thursday, 12 July 2012

Fear as a Friend

“To use fear as the friend it is, we must retrain and reprogram ourselves...We must persistently and convincingly tell ourselves that the fear is here--with its gift of energy and heightened awareness--so we can do our best and learn the most in the new situation”.  Peter McWilliams, Life 101 (1995)

In my last months of chronic alcoholism, fear consumed my mind and ruled my world.  I was fearful of people, leaving the house, driving, shopping and most of all waking up in the morning to begin another day riddled with shaking and sickness.  Alcohol was my fix – it washed away all those fears and allowed me another 24 hours of relief until the next day arrived.  My daily planning was revolved around swigging down the bottles I had hidden from those I loved and making sure they were replaced before the next cycle of fear and intoxication started again. 
After detox, I was still left with the fear of not being able to cope.  How was I going to pick up the pieces of a life ruined by disease?  AA saved me from another relapse into hell.  I heard people talk about their disease and I knew that I was not alone and could relate to what others had been through.  The steps showed me there was hope – a light at the end of a dark tunnel.  With honesty, an open mind and pure willingness I did what my sponsor suggested and somewhere along the way the fear and craving for a drink was lifted.  Nothing so much insures my inability to remain peaceful, serene and sane than fear without courage or hope.  
I have healthy fears now – the most important one being that there is a chance of me picking up that first drink but I now have the tools to ensure that should not happen.  I have choices now to accept the things I cannot change or change the things I can.  It begins with changing me and loving and accepting me for who I am.  Life is not easy in sobriety but prayer, meditation and giving back to others keeps the mind, body and soul in harmony.
Nelson Mandela quoted “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear”.
I came across an article written by Stephen Edwards called “Viewing fear as a friend” and adapted it into my own words pertaining to recovery which I would like to share:

False Evidence Appearing Real
Fear is not the enemy, we are.
Fear is a powerful source that is simply providing us with an opportunity
to see something that we need to resolve within ourselves
in order to explore more of our potential.
Fear is an illusion.
It is something we create within us,
through our thoughts and emotions,
about something that has happened in our past
or something that may happen in the future.
Unfortunately, when people need to face their fears,
they Forget Everything And Run.
They lose their uncertainty of who they really are.
They lose self-confidence and the unlimited potential that lies within them.
The purpose of fear is not to make us feel inadequate
but to show us that we are powerful beyond measure.
When we are honest about our fears,
clear about our intentions,
prepared to act with COURAGE,
we are often taken over by a power far greater than ourselves
that seems to intercede on our behalf, a HIGHER POWER.
When people use fear to connect with that higher power,
they produce extraordinary results.

1 comment:

  1. Incredibly eye-opening. Gives me a new outlook on fear.