Saturday, February 09, 2008


"If your children were afflicted by fearful images, you would take them in your arms and rock them with a lullaby. And so we must begin to treat ourselves like our only child...We intensify fear by trying to force it away...the first step in healing fear is accepting it. " Unattended Sorrow. Stephen Levine

I lived my life in terror; driven to action by it; desperately trying to escape. I remember being afraid when my children were afraid because I didn't know how to comfort them - because I didn't know how to deal with my own fear. It was torture; only relieved by ingesting chemicals or being absorbed in reading something.

In recovery I was taught to examine my fear, talk to someone about it, and then get out of myself by helping someone else - although some of my suggestion-givers suggested I make my bed and go to the grocery store. They also suggested that I turn my life and will over to the care of God and be willing to accept whatever happened after that. I still had/have fear from time to time. I was so attached to Ron that his health problems caused me extreme fear, but I eventually began to have relief from that.

Right now I'm grateful because I really don't have fear - a little mild anxiety about money and health but even so the anxiety is really mild. At my age both those things are realistic to have some anxiety about, but the anxiety is mostly about not being able to handle whatever happens or just anxiety about being uncomfortable. It's really not enough to even cause much of a ripple on the surface of my mind.


Dee said...

Hi Mary Ann,

Thanks for blogging about fear. I'm in quite a bit myself this weekend - about resuming the main caretaker role for my 82-year-old, injured mom and about ending my first romantic relationship in sobriety. I guess they're both choices though the first feels like a "have to" and the second like a "need to" right now. Life on life's terms, right? Nobody ever said it would be easy. Thank God for help along the way.

I have done the thing I tried to tell myself I wouldn't do - let my recovery take second or third place behind work and a man. Family's in there somewhere too. I guess it's that whole thing about recovery giving us our lives back. Then we have to figure out how the hell to live them!

I can so identify with what you said about turning to chemicals and losing yourself in a book. Not everyone understands how seductive those open pages can be to us readaholics. I am so there:-)!

I thank HP for the last few weeks of exercise that will give me the strength to assume my new responsibilities and are making me feel better in general. Also for the sister-friends I have made in AA that help me so much.

And now it's time to make my bed and go to the grocery store - or, in this case, take a shower and pick up the house.

With love one day at a time,


Lysa TerKeurst said...

Very thought provoking. I just wrote about how perfect love casts out fear. The kind of perfect love I'm referring to can only be found in Jesus.

Sweet blessings!

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