Fear and Courage

I am writing to process all the learning that is happening in my life right now. And there is lots. Something has “clicked” in my mind and I have returned to recovery meetings and instead of sitting there all smug and thinking, “I don’t belong here…” I am instead asking “What can I learn here?” and I am taking advice. I have been told to attend lots of meetings in the beginning. I remember being told before to attend 90 meetings in 90 days and I thought you must be fucking joking. I remember reading somewhere that Stevie Tyler (big fan) recommended that to a journalist trying to get sober.

This time instead of balking I am doing. I have been to four meetings in four days. I have met a sober woman for a walk in the park. I have “run into” another friend who is trying to get sober in a meeting this morning. Neither one of us knew of the other’s struggle with alcohol. It was so encouraging to talk with her afterwards BUT when I saw her sitting in the front row I automatically wanted to bolt. Fear. The debilitating fear of being recognized and judged is still there but now it is a just a fear and not so debilitating. I refuse to let the same old tapes play in my head as I drive to the meetings – what a loser you are – if someone sees you there will be major consequences – you will never be hired for anything again – you are nothing but a drunk – and on and on and on. These tapes are what have kept me in hiding and suffering for far too long. I am not going to say that I don’t care about being “outed” anymore only that I care less each day. The benefits will outweigh the risks I have no doubt. It takes courage to face this addiction. I want it to be easy but its not. Nothing worth having ever is. But damn I am proud of myself on some level for getting support.

Courage is showing up and letting ourselves be seen (thanks Brene Brown). That is what I did this morning when I saw my friend in the seat – I thought she might be at the meeting in a professional capacity as she works in the health industry. But I did not bolt from the meeting. I showed up and let myself be seen in spite of the fear I felt. This, I think is what surrender might feel like but I am not sure because for so long I have been trying to do it on my own and it has sucked. And been very unsuccessful. There might be something to this recovery meeting thing. Right now I am home and just feeling grateful to be doing what I need to do to live the life I want. Some things that were said over the past couple of days that I want to remember are:
“Be willing, be curious without a debilitating to fear, to see what this is all about…” and “Religion is for those who don’t want to go to hell and spirituality is for those who have already been there…” Guess I am looking for spirituality…
Wishing everyone a great alcohol free day…


9 thoughts on “Fear and Courage”

  1. Good for you for going and getting the support you need. The “old tapes” really spoke to me…I have had those same thoughts about meetings, even though on some level I think they could help me live a more peaceful life in sobriety. I have been reading Brene Brown and really love what she has to say…it is the perfect information for me at this stage in my life and sober journey. Have a great day! -Jen

    1. Hey Jen – I am reading “Daring Greatly” right now and my mantra is “I am enough” right out of her book. What I learned in her book helped get me through the door to recovery meetings – being ashamed of my story was keeping me trapped… Thanks so much for the comment, Jen…

  2. This is awesome and I so understand how you feel about being seen… I am the same way and I look around at all my meetings. I too thought 90/90 is nuts. It is not practical for me but I am trying to attend as many as I can and the weird part, I WANT TOO!!! Your right, each day/meeting I feel care less about who or what people think. I am realizing how amazing it is and how proud we should be that we reached out for help and wanting to change. Just like people who try to quit smoking or lose weight, we all applaud them, why not people who want to quit drinking? We are doing this together and they path that works best for us. We both know what we were doing prior, was not working! hugs!

    1. I hope that the fear is gone completely one day and the pride for being a woman in recovery replaces is it. until then my job is to just show up and try me best not to care who sees me…

  3. I ran across your blog and am reading from the beginning because that’s where I am. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    1. I wish you every success on this journey. I have never regretted a single day spent sober no matter how bad. Cannot say the same for my days spent not sober – tons of regrets… Be well

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