Monday, March 24, 2008

Fear revisited

I was reading somewhere that we create our own fears out of nothing. Futurizing false expectations, whipping them up from past events. Dark imaginings that produce fear within us. Our thinking produces a lie, the lie produces fear. The fear is real. A feeling of coldness in the pit of my belly. Our bodies respond to these fears. A false thought producing a true emotion. An emotion that can cripple us.

I went on to read that I produce this fear so I would have an excuse to use. My life is fearful, I don't feel right, I cannot cope or live with this fear so what shall I do? A bottle of read wine, a joint, an evening viewing porn on the internet, If I'm honest, I've done this for most of my life, starting as a young child. Sunday nights, worrying about school. Being under the care of a sitter, worried that something awful had befallen my parents. The neighbourhood bully, waiting for me. The only way to push these thoughts aside, when I was a child, was sexual self-stimulation. Then the release I felt would let me fall asleep. Even though I felt a lot of shame and guilt around my habit, I could not stop. The thought of not being able to produce those feelings brought out fear. I set myself up to allow myself to behave in ways I did not feel appropriate. Make up the fear, allow the incongruous behaviour.

The trouble is that every method of numbing out the fear fails after a while. Looses it's effectiveness. Needs a boost. If I look at my progression through life, I always found a way to have fear and justify what I was doing. My excessive drinking was justified. If you were me, you would drink as much as I do! Even if my actions would deeply effect others, I could justify it. Even if my conduct would harm others, I was still in the right. I needed to cope with life, no matter what. My uncomfortableness with life will make the crazy thinking rational.

So here I am, two years clean and sober, still struggling with irrational fears. My mind, like a magician, conjuring up feelings out of nothing. Getting physical symptoms from my thinking. What is different today is that I don't use sex, alcohol, or pot to escape these artificial feelings. I can face them.

If thinking is the problem of fear, how does one "control" the thinking. Apparently, judging by my experience over the last two years, I am powerless over my thinking. The A.A. program provides tools for the job.

  • - Faith and trust in a Higher Power.
  • - "One day at a time"
  • - "Let go and let God"
  • - "Easy does it"
  • - Reciting the Serenity prayer
  • - Proper use of will power
  • - "time takes time"

To shift myself from fearful thinking to healthy thinking. To allow the fearful thoughts to be lost, acknowledging that they are not real, to move my thoughts to something wholesome. To be honest, open and willing with myself.

  • - Think of others over myself.
  • - meditation, intimacy with God
  • - The goodness of others, not the "evils".

These changes will come, if I work for them. This is the part that requires patience and perseverance. As long as I grow, I will stay sober and clean. If I become stagnant, I will eventually relapse, succumbing to my own thinking.

Page 85 of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" reads:

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

2 comments:

pat said...

You have a lot of insight and I can tell you try to work your program. With time, things get easier. Of course, it does not mean fear will not revisit from time to time but its impact will lessen. Hugs.

dirtydishes said...

Doing an inventory of my fears really helped me. Prayers and hugs