I was not born with a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of sound mind.
II Tim; 1,7.
So where did the fear come from? It does not matter! But fear is magnified by alcohol or any of your personal addictions. Acceptance is the key to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12 step fellowships.
Probably the best remembered emotion from our alcoholic days is an all pervading fear. Fear of death, fear of life, fear of people, fear of places, fear of insanity, fear of such things as confined spaces heights, crossing streets the police the neighbours, publicans, sudden noises or movements.
We were afraid of just about everything except alcohol for it was only in the bottle were we able to find a little peace Short lived peace we knew it even then, but short-lived or not, the oblivion gave us some small respite from the insanity producing fear which had become so much a part of our lives.
Sometimes we didn’t quite know what we were afraid of some indefinable fear that disaster was just around the corner. Fear the dread, the alarm, the unpleasant emotion of oncoming danger.
All of us, as practising alcoholic, knew this fear to varying degrees and to us it was a very real emotion To be told not to worry about something produced a rather King Canute like despair we all know just how successful he was in controlling the tides We were just that successful in commanding the tide of our own emotions.
Today, our life is not controlled and governed by fear. Why? Because we are members of AA. To the casual observer, this may appear to be an over simplification of the facts but may we say that fear cannot survive where faith exists and to be a sober Member of AA a little faith is necessary. Faith in AA, faith in our follow-man, faith in a Power Greater than ourselves take your choice. We are fortunate enough to have faith in all these plus a kind of AA inspired faith in ourselves something that we didn’t have much of at one time.
All of these add up to an environment where fear no longer can play a major part. Sure we are beset by fears from time to time very real fears and it would probably be time to start worrying if we weren’t. But the soul-destroying constant fear of the practising alcoholic is no longer present.
We often feel the secret of ridding oneself of these fears may very well lie in the Serenity Prayer at least as much there as in any part of the Programme.
“the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” Prior to AA there were a great many things we could not accept. One of which was the fact of our, alcoholism. Accepting our alcoholism however seemed to make the acceptance of other things a whole lot easier. Or rather’ facing up to it did and it amounts to the same thing. We finally accepted the fact that maybe we could be wrong about something sometimes and we accepted the fact that the other fellow has his point of view and is entitled to it. We accepted the fact that we were not God and stopped playing the role. We accepted our limitations and consequently matured somewhat in so doing We accepted AA’s help and it’s warmth and it’s friendship, a warmth and friendship that seemed a little strange at first. It had been absent from our life for so long
We accepted the fact that we were not entitled to try to bend the wills of people to our own desires’ disregarding their feelings in the process. We accepted the fact that alcohol was not essential to our very existence as we had for so long believed, We could learn to live without it we accepted that also. We accepted that we have our own special little place in the overall scheme of things which we should avail ourselves, mindful of just how small that appointed place really is and to give of our best at all times. We accepted the fact that the words “courage to change the things I can” were directed mainly at us and that it was our attitudes our behaviour, our thought processes that were most in need of change, not the other fellow’s and through the acceptance of all these things we have been granted some of the necessary “wisdom to know the difference,”