Sunday, January 27, 2008

Coping with fear.

Saturday was a fun day. Went out for lunch with my spouse and we went out for supper with my parents. Drove around looking at different neighbourhoods, looking at real estate (just looking and dreaming.), Went to see a movie at a really small theatre (held around 80 people, lots of old sqeaky chairs).Went to a meeting in the evening. Started to write a new poem. We packed the day with fun activities. It's been a while since we've done that. Felt good and refreshing. I've even had two good sleeps in a row.

On page 68 of the big book, it talks about how to cope with our fears:

Perhaps there is a better way-- we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.

Thats like the extended version of step 3. Admitting and accepting that I am powerless over the situation, turning to God and asking my Higher Power what I need to be doing and thinking, and the more I rely on God, the less my fears will be. Trading the finite for the infinite. I know this doesn't change the circumstances that we are in, but it does change my attitude. What will happen in the future will happen. What it is, I do not know and cannot control. I can just leave it in God's hands.

My councillor gave me some practical tools to help me deal with my fear. It comes from the ANU counselling centre.

Turning the engine off. If a ruminating brain is like an engine stuck in gear and overheating, then slowing or stopping it gives it a chance to cool off. The goal of ‘turning it off’ is to give the ruminative mind a chance to rest and calm down.
Sit quietly with eyes closed and focus on an image of an open container ready to receive every issue on your mind. See and name each issue or worry and imagine putting it into the container. When no more issues come to mind, ‘put a lid’ on the container and place it on a shelf or in some other out of the way place until you need to go back to get something from it. Once you have the container on the shelf, you invite into the space that is left in your mind whatever is the most important current thought or feeling.
At night, right before sleep, invite a peaceful thought to focus on while drifting off.

In stead of using a container, I imagine God's hands receiving the issues on my mind. Sort of like a God box. It's one way of taking control of my thinking, of using will power to change the thoughts and put more trust in God.

The movie we watched yesterday was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There was a scene near the end of the movie where a couple of the characters in the movie were watching the lion (who represents Christ or God) walk away. The one character says "He is not a tame lion" and that just floored me. That's how I feel about my higher power. Not predictable, not controllable, nothing in God's make up that makes me feel really safe and secure. Then the other character replies, "but He's good."

God is good. He has taken me from the depths of depression, no longer wanting to live, hating God, wishing only for eternal darkness and sleep, to a place where I can walk in the sunshine, enjoying the light around me. I want to grow and change. To live. In the months that I have been in recovery, my life has changed dramatically. Even with all the fear I have experienced lately, I have not numbed or choosen an easier way out. Slowly, simply, and subtly we change.

Thanks for letting me share.


pat said...

I like what your counselor suggested. Let me know if it really works.

Anonymous said...

Serenity in calamity, I really like that. Gonna hit page 68 tonight. Thanks!

YamadogGirl said...

"He is not a tame Lion", "But He is good." How true that is, God already knows every thought, word, and deed we are doing as humans, and it's all okay because He has forgiven us even before we've done anything. That amazing.

He takes calamity and always turns it to good use. Examples on a large scale would be major tragedies, school shootings, sunamies, 911, they all were terrible things that happened, but look what the outcome was at all of them. People uniting, caring, loving, and praying, coming together to do His will.

Closer to home is the accident I recently had, I'm not freaking out about it, it happened. I am doing the necessary steps I need to for the insurance company, the body shop, the investigators, and the police to help them get their jobs done. God is taking care of the rest. We were all okay, no one was hurt, I'm not twisted inside thinking what if, what if, what if??? Instead, I am thanking God, because even this accident is showing me more answers from Him.

Can I get a WOOHOOO! How awesome is that!

Love ya,

indistinct said...

Whooo Hooooo

(why do I feel like an owl?)

It is amazing how good things come from bad events. In ways we will probably never understand. Not that I have to understand either. I'm starting to realize that why isn't always the best question to ask. Acceptance is a better answer.

Thanks for all the support!!!!!