I believe the Big Book says something about fear being at the root of most of our defects or something like that. Although many of he fears that I used to have subsided after I quit drinking the certainly haven't all gone away and fear still pays a big part in my sobriety in some ways. I still get some of the old feelings from time to time, but it's how I react to those feelings now that's different. If I get fearful of money now for instance, I sit down and take a look at my financial situation and see what options are available unlike when I was drinking when I would go out and blow $50 at the bar so I could forget about my money problems. Although I still have that problem of making an important decision sometimes because I'm so afraid it'll be the wrong one, that's one I still have to deal with a lot. I've had some new fears lately too, as my wife and I are shortly expecting our first child. Will it be healthy? Will I be a good father? Will my child be a drunk? That last one is a doosie, a month before it's born and I'm worried about it being a drunk! Staying in today (or One Day At A Time) is usually what I'm lacking when these start to bother me, but, as usual, easier said than done. I also have some healthy fears now as well, like the fear of what will happen (or that I don't know what will happen) if I take a drink. The religion that I was brought up with teaches the fear of God, which I have a hard time with. Although I am fearful of loosing the relationship that I have with my God today, which I think is a good thing.
So, what are you afraid of, let's hear about your fear.
Well, Tim G, after I read your topic, I had to get off my computer and think for awhile. It may seem arrogant of me to say I'm not fearful, but I believe it's the truth. The Promises (pages 83 & 84 of the Big Book, as you know) have come true for me, and my last goal is to die sober (in about 25 years) I'm not alone in that wish. Because of my discipline of prayer and meditation, I've come to trust HP's wisdom, and trust replaces and DISplaces fear. When I'm fearful, I'm saying to God "I haven't surrendered to You and Your Will for my life." Well, I DO trust most of the time, and the fear is minimal.
This past week at our 11th Step meeting (patterned after my home group in East Stroudsburg, PA) a man who has a year's sobriety but has been around the edges of the Program for 25 years, and who has just finished his chemo, says "My cancer is gone, according to my cat-scan. But the amazing thing is that my fear is gone, and I've been afraid of SOMEthing my whole life." I could truly identify with him -- I don't have to ask why, either. I just trust, and the fear melts away. Surrender, acceptance, trust, faith, God's Will -- they're really all the same thing. They are the light, while fear is the dark -- and you know that a single candle can banish darkness. So can a little acceptance. Amazing!!! I learned all this in the rooms of AA, and THEN heard it also at church. I think they were trying to say the same thing all along, but it took you -- my fellow alcoholics with your honesty -- to get me to listen!
Hi I'm Cherise and I'm an alcoholic. Thank you Tim for this topic! Fear is a definite motivator for my character defects to come out. When I was drinking, and had fear, I either drank more or ran from what I was scared of. Today I gratefully don't have to drink, but sometimes still want to run. That's when I have to practice the 3rd and 6th steps. My Higher Power is the only answer to ridding me of these feelings. I've heard in the rooms fear is "F--- everything and run" or "Face everything and recover" For me the second one is my choice today. But like Tim said some fears are good, and I can honestly say that every fear I have had in sobriety has taught me so much, and has helped me grow as a person. At least I am able to recognize my fears today and eventually conquer them with FAITH. Thank you for listening.
I'm Tim and I'm an alcoholic.
Thanks for the topic Tim. As I was reading your words I was thinking, that doesn't play much of a part in my life anymore. Then I read Judy's comments, and thought, I can identify with this!
For me, for the most part, the fear has been removed. I live life today, and generally accept reality. I feel empowered by AA and HP to change the things I need too, to do the work I have to and to be at peace in a world of restlessness.
When I slip out of serenity into projection (FEAR or Future Events Appear Real) then pain soon follows. I surrender, look for God's will for me and get back in today. The serenity returns, and I enjoy the promises Judy mentioned.
Seems too simple, but it is just simple.
Thanks for helping me stay sober today.
Many blessings. Tim
Hi I'm Bob and I'm an alcoholic.My fear is of change.All my life every minute my life was changing. Now in recovery I have peace,love and acceptance.when times come in my life now that I have to make a change, my fear sets in. For me I finally get comfortable with where I 'm at I don't want to make that change. I know I have to so I can grow in my recovery and life. Sometimes it takes a little time for me to go about and make that change.But I listen and talk to my sponsor use my HP to the limit and listen to my friends in the fellowship and I overcome this fear. I always like to feel comfortable so when something gets in the way of that comfort I tend to get fearful. I always overcome it but sometimes I cause myself more discomfort. I know I'm growing because I used to fear everything and it feels so good to be from out under that burden. Thanks.
My name is Barbara, and I'm an alcoholic.
I also feel that my fears have lessened over the years; most times now I can look at a new event in my life, one that might have panicked me at one time, and say: This must be my path. This must be what God intends for my life. And I can accept it if I can't change it and try to change it if I can, if I need to. It's a wonderful, freeing feeling that I never, ever would have imagined I could feel.
I still have the ordinary, human fears: nervousness when starting a new job or meeting new people; a little bit of worry when taking tests in school or working on a project at work; worry about loved ones. But these fears aren't outsize any more, and I know that this is a part of life on earth, things that all human beings have experienced. (I DID notice while thinking about this that I am having trouble asking people for recommendations so that I can go to graduate school: I am afraid, for some reason, to ask people for this. So here's something I can look at and learn from, yet again. Thanks, Tim!)
And Tim: congratulations on your impending new arrival! I wish you and your wife much happiness.
I,m Barry and I'm an alcoholic,
I remember when I was drinking I was never afraid of dying,In fact at various bottoms I was hoping for it,What I learned I was afraid of was living,just plain old stuff like falling in love,trusting people, buying a house. I never lost a marriage or a house or a career because my fear of failure at life which fueled my alcoholISM stoped me from ever having any of those things,I took them away from me by being to paralyzed by fear to try them.
Today I still have things I fear, but they don't rule my life like they used to. I've learned to share my fears with others,then I find out everybody has the same ones,and I'm not alone. Now I'm willing to try things even though I may fail,life is to short,and I've already pissed away to many years(drinking)I have to overcome these fears to live a meaningful life. My higher power and the people in the rooms help me to do this for I could never accomplish it on my own.
There is one fear I hope never leaves me,and that is the fear that if I ever drink or drug again I will die, My soul and maybe my body too. That fear keeps me comming back and working the program to the best of my ability.
Hi, I'm Mark and I'm an alcoholic. Great topic! I've been ruled by fear my whole life. Afriad I would fail at anything I tried. Like raising my kids, my mariage, my job. I was told right after I got in the proggram that the only thing I could really fail at were the things that my fear kept me from trying to do. I still fear today(not as bad as I did 3 years ago) but I have learned to push through my fear, and go after the things I was afraid of before. A couple of years ago I saw a minister on tv who said fear is the opposite of faith. If you're moving toward faith you're moving away from fear. At this point in my life I'm happy to say that I am putting more faith in my Higher Power, his will for my life,and Fear is in my rearview mirror. Have a sober day!
Hi, My name is Thomas and I'm an Alcoholic.
What a topic. Ruled by a thousand types of fear. Before I came to this fellowship I did not know the feeling of fear. I just drank it, spent it, used people, or anything I could possibly use to fill my self-centered ego. Not until I came into this fellow ship did I come to know fear.
I believe my higher power loves me so much that this is how he gets my attention. But I also believe that as I come closer to doing his will and not mine as the promises say we loose fear of situations that used to baffel us or something like that.
I love this meeting.