At night before I go into deep sober slumber my mind is in enveloped with fear and angst about the new day to come when I wake up. Distress about what is in store for me tomorrow; what situations will subsequently trigger me to use; will my work for my job be satisfactory; will I be in a good mood? So many frightening things run through my mind that I can’t seem to them shut out. These don’t necessarily keep me up for hours throughout the night but they make it hard to relax before going to bed. A lot of the time, these thoughts carries themselves into my dreams and it is unsettling. Sometimes I wake up suddenly after a bought of them have viciously made me toss and turn, making it a little difficult to return to sleep, but I eventually do.
These fearful thoughts I experience before going to bed and in my dreams don’t always occur just in those specific moments, they occasionally and usually do haunt me throughout my day as well. Fear is what every alcoholic and addict fears the most. It is the single most habitual feeling that drives every other feeling we have and action we take. A portion of the 4th Step from the Big Book of A.A. says this about fear, “Notice the word “fear” is bracketed alongside the difficulties with Mr. Brown, Mrs. Jones, the employer, and the wife. This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It is an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble.” Everything that I have ever mistakenly done or said in my life has been because of fear. The times when I had verbally abused my family members, especially my mother, all had been as a result of fear. I was fearful that they didn’t really love me and verbally abusing them like that would test their love for me. If they could take it all without rejecting me completely then they still loved me. I did the same thing with my best friends, testing their loyalty because I was afraid that they really weren’t my friends and didn’t truly care about me. Even in sobriety today, fear still runs through my body like I stated above – every day, but I know how to harness that fear for good. Instead of fear driving my every action, I use my fear to keep myself in check. It is funny, when I was using, my fears were that of not having enough money to buy my drugs and alcohol, or not smelling like liquor in front of my mom, but today there is real fear, the fear that if I use again I will die. Even though I fear the little things in life, the biggest fear is dying from this disease. That fear keeps me alive and striving for a better life.
By Matt B.