LABOR DAY, MONDAY SEPT 1, 2008
FEAR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW!
Fear IS me. My name should have been "Fearful Tearful". When I arrived at the door of Alcoholics Anonymous, I was age 40, and had never heard the word "paranoid".
At one of my earlier meetings, the topic was "Fear and Paranoia", so I figured the two were somehow related, -grin- a real great deduction on my part! (Remember, I had bypassed the "Beginner's Group" and the Steps...and had installed myself in this "more intelligent, non-smoking, discussion" group.) OK, so, to join myself to these brilliant ones, I made claim to the title 'Mr Paranoia'. I thought that might set me apart as unique.
They all laughed, not AT me as I suspected, but WITH me as I wished. See, I was paranoid, right?
Each one of us in AA has sat in that same chair, that 'new person' chair--the one which is never dry, never free of perspiration. Even the CHAIR is full of fear, anxiety, frustration, and those black thoughts which are entertained by only the very ill.
Scared of my shadow, that was really me. Many times I'd jump away from that 'darker' spot on the street or sidewalk--that spot which was...ME, my shadow! Fear of everything is how Lucy and Linus (above) depicted his fear. My own fear fit that description, pantophobia. Do you know, I had so MANY mental problems, so many tangled emotional "issues" (I hate that word, also!), I was really ONE sick puppy.
1. "And I lied when even the truth would have sufficed."
2. I've never met one qualified to join my exalted state of phoniness, pretending to be ALWAYS who I was not. Naturally, alcohol took care of that problem, allowing me to really BE someone else, any time, all the time.
3. Meet me, the expert "put-down" artist, I say EXPERT. Most people had not the slightest notion that they were being 'worked over'--or DID they (paranoia?) -grin-
4. That farmer at bottom of p.82 in BB, that was ME! Fifteen YEARS of sober living before i understood the meaning of that paragraph. I thought of it as a very astute, out-of-place remark, "Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowin'?" (Appropriate comment on the day of Hurricane Gustav's landfall on Gulf coast of U.S.)
5. Most of my problem WAS fear. Fear of "What are you thinking?" When, truth be told, you are no doubt...thinking of YOU! (Well, maybe not you!)
6. And, OMG--money fears, having money or NOT having money, paying past-due bills, children's school clothing, tuition, school bus fare You fill in your fears, and they were probably mine. There was fear of fear, fear of people, fear of driving, fear of anyone who did not smile...
7. After sobriety my problem switched...now it became Pride. But that's another blog entry. (Hey, I really LIKE delineating--numbering--items, it produces a focus, and induces a succinctness in the process of communication. You bloggers showed me this, so I'll try it again. Thanks!)
8. Hopefully, the pendulum is swinging back, and might slow, or stop at some mid-point between HERE and FEAR.
Bottom line is that with all my "grave emotional and mental disorders..." it (maybe I'm grateful about this!) not once occurred to me to seek medical help or counseling. I'm here to let you all know that it was this Twelve-Step Program of AA which healed me on a contingency basis ("contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition...").
And it was the Power of my God, Who brought me to AA, and you AA people, who brought me back to Him--that changed my life so utterly completely, a turn-around you could only believe had you "known me back when"...
I'm so sleepy, I hope this made a little sense, maybe I'll edit tomorrow morning (Monday.)?
I still love you all--even if you didn't read this far!