Monday, May 26, 2008

Fear - treasured companion

When I was an inpatient at a treatment centre, my councillor told me several times that the reason I went to fear was because I liked to go there. I was comfortable feeling fearful. I am afraid to say that I thought he was a little crazy. Why would I do something over and over again when it feels so uncomfortable? To purposely do something that would not let me sleep? That made my insides feel so empty? I did this because I wanted to? Yep, crazy.

His words often come back to me while I am feeling scared.

As a result of doing several AA fourth and fifth steps, I have come to recognize that fear is a character defect. That a lot of my actions that hurt me and hurt others is driven by my fear. Here is something I do so easily, seemingly uncontrollably, hurtful to myself and others, and am powerless over. As I reread these words, I wonder if "character defect" is correct. Perhaps it's the anger and controlling behaviours that resulted from my fear that are the defects of character?

Yesterday I read that I am driven to fear by fear. That the reason I am fearful is that it is a way to locate myself, that I am comfortable in my fearfulness. That even though the results of the fear create dis-ease with in me, I go there because it is predicable and familiar. I guess that after doing this for as long as I remember, it is familiar. My mind goes out of it's way to create fabrications that stir up the fear with in me.

There is much I don't understand. The only bit of wisdom that comes through at this moment is "the only out is through". I'm not even sure there is a way through. The book I am reading suggests that I will never be able to live fearlessly. That I will learn new ways of understanding and using my fears. That by using tools such as intimacy and breath, I can explore an inner landscape I am only just now beginning to understand exists. That eventually the exploration of my fear will spark creativity. hmmmmm.

My sponsors thoughts keep coming to me as well. I need to be patient. That I will change over time. An other told me that change comes simply, slowly, and subtly. That faith in a power greater than myself would become a source of courage. In the essay on Step 7 (Humbly asked Him to remove our short comings) in the AA book "Twelve Steps and Twelve traditions", the word humility is used over and over again. That humbleness is an important part of change and growth. I cannot force myself to change. Impossible. I cannot force the power greater than myself to change me. That word acceptance comes to mind. Accept me as being me, just as I am.

A conundrum. I don't want to be fearful, so accept the fear. Live with it. Breathe. Intimacy. I am not alone. Faith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am also learning about my fears. The hardest part is determining what they really are. I have kept myself in a state of complete numbness as a result of these fears for years. Staying numb in sobriety is a difficult task, it takes hard work, I am learning very slowly to acknowledge these fears and try to work through them, as scary as that is. I think my biggest fear is communication, and saying how I really feel, what I need, what I want, but I am now experiencing some of the results of letting my guard down just a little bit, and they are astounding!
You are working through it, even though sometimes it does not feel like it.