Fear; that dreaded four letter word. Does it ever really go away? I remember before this journey into recovery ever began, anxiety was something that used to cripple me. I remember every time I tried to get sober, saying, if only my blood would stop racing I would have a chance - because back then I truly had no idea that what I was feeling was anxiety. I only knew that it felt as if my blood was going around and around a million miles an hour, to the point of wanting to crawl out of my own skin. Today, I know that feeling is (and was) anxiety driven by fear. If I couldn’t get this or do that, the sense of overwhelming impending doom became unbearable to the point of going to any lengths to make it stop. For me, there was only one thing that had ever worked, and that was drugs and alcohol.
Today, I know that what I thought worked, was a lie. There is another way, and that is faith. Not so easy at times, but a lot more peaceful and real. The trouble with faith is that it is just that - faith. For the most part, in the beginning it is unfamiliar, scary, and can seem to be unrealistic. But is it? Ask anyone that has been in recovery for any length of time what their experience is with faith. Just as each story in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes the author’s individual journey into a relationship through faith to their Higher Power, I believe we all have our own personal voyage into this topic that allows one to walk from fear to faith. Belief in a fundamental faith built upon solid knowledge from our own experiences. But if one is not willing to embark on such an amazing journey, then one will never know. So I beg you to not sell yourself short, and get out of your own way, because the world is full of those who have been overwhelmed with fear, but now are able to see life with new eyes. The eyes of freedom, that anything is possible as long as you have faith.
Does this mean you will never be afraid again? Absolutely not. It just means we now have a way that works; it really works, no matter what this world dishes out. Faith is a mindset that can allow even the most impossible situations a peaceful place inside. Does it change your circumstance? Sometimes, but not always. What it does, is give you the grace to walk through your circumstance with dignity and peace. And remember, fear is the illusion and faith is the reality.
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