Topics: Fear Not, Step three and Step Five of Alcoholics Anonymous
“Fear not” is easier said than done. We need to learn the 12 step tools and especially invoke step three to keep fear at bay. There is no shame in revisiting a third step to remind us that God has our back! One of the first things we do when beginning our walk in sober school is identify, seek, and find a Higher Power. Step five in the Big Book is the magic step that alleviates our guilt & shame but make no mistake, it is not a one-time job! Unless of coarse your perfect or sociopath.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. “They say that the most used phrase in the Bible is “fear not”
The psychological make-up of an addict
Many of us when we were very small children were often told by parents that we had nothing to be afraid of when we expressed our intense child-like fears. Unfortunately during our forthright expression of true feelings our parents often implied by their lack of empathy and understanding that our fears were not only unfounded but ridiculous and perhaps absurd. These adults knew no better.
Parents do not usually know that some validation of our feelings along with comfort and logic was necessary for our emotional health. Therefore our intense little feelings were invalidated, we felt “wrong” for being afraid. After-all our parents knew best how we should feel so our fears must be wrong. But instead of that making our fears go away it motivated us to hide our fears for shame. My parents used shame to control me. They used shame to oppress me and steal my dreams and hopes.
What’s worse once we got to pre and elementary school we found out just what kind of people express their fears openly. We learned about the scaredy-cats, the chicken-shits, the pussies and the yellow-bellies. We learned that people who express any form of fear will be ostracized greatly by their fellows and friends. We must be bad we must be wrong!
And so we learned to stuff down those big fears into our guts, we learned to act, and we learned to put on the mask of fearlessness. No-one would call us cry-baby again! Ever! We learned, even…to shut off our tears. Showing any kind of hurt emotional or physical would label us weak. So we turned our hurts to anger. Who could blame us…we didn’t want to be labelled by everyone. Between our parents and our school-mates we were really left with very few people if any in whom we could confide our true feelings so we could let them out.
Most of us women in addiction were sexually abused as children. We hid the feelings from that away as well…deep in our bowels lie the pain and hurt of a wounded, neglected, and abused child. We did not trust that our feelings were right therefore we could not trust our parents to tell them what happened…or maybe our parents are the culprits of the abuse. Either way we had no adult to confide with about the abuse and the feelings of self-loathing that resulted from it.
AND SO GOES THE STORY OF THE TYPICAL ADDICTS EMOTIONS…expression of feelings was off the table so what would we do with all those feelings inside us that were ready & able to cause an explosion of wrath. We usually weren’t cruel people we didn’t want to take out our feelings on others so we beat ourselves up for being who we were.
We developed a voice in our head that screamed at us for things we said and did and things we didn’t say and do. We became our own worst enemy.
The self-hate, the anxiety, and the depression that we felt had to stop!
SO WE MEDICATED! After-all the last thing we would do is confide in someone so they could turn around and use it against us!
Ohhhh how the drugs worked, ohhhh how they made us feel better…for a while anyway!
Robin Williams-an addict in recovery hung himself today. Why would anyone with all that money, in the program, sober for quite some time want to kill himself?
“Our liquor was but a symptom, so we had to get down to causes and conditions.”
I have a friend who is a therapist and in 12 step recovery. He loves both programs. But he has quoted me shocking numbers of addicts/alcoholics in a 12 step program who have committed suicide. The statistics are staggering. What you will find behind the statistics is an ability to express and share negative feelings. . My friend insists that all his sponcees do regular fifth-steps in meetings by telling “WHAT HAPPENED AND HOW IT MADE ME FEEL.”
FEELINGS ARE NOT AN OUTSIDE ISSUE, THE SOLUTIONS DO NOT LIE IN SHUTTING DOWN OUR FEELINGS AND PRETENDING THEY DON’T EXIST.
“WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS”
WE MUST FIND AT LEAST ONE PERSON WE CAN TELL ANYTHING TO.
IN THE U.S. SUICIDE STATISTICS FAR OUTWEIGH OTHER COUNTRIES.
The solutions to anxiety and depression are simple but not easy. You can find them on my website: