Topic for the week: Fear and Freedom from Fear
I’ve had a quote from the 12 and 12 on my mind a lot lately. It’s from the 12th step and it says, “We found that freedom from fear is more important than freedom from want.”
Fear has been a character defect that has reared its ugly head on multiple occasions in my sobriety. When I was a newcomer, I think the thing that most terrified me was that I didn’t believe I’d be able to stay sober. I stuck close to meetings and to others in recovery, and I worked the steps. I heard some people say that fear was stopping them from doing a 4th and 5th step, but I was desperately afraid of what would happen to me if I didn’t do what I was told.
Fear has come up in many other circumstances for me over the years, often because of financial insecurity. Certainly the pandemic has brought on a lot of fear for many of us.
I have heard that Fear stands for several things:
False Evidence Appearing Real
Forget Everything and Run
Failure Expected and Received
I was taught in early sobriety that fear is the absence of faith, and I find that the shakier my faith is, the worse my fear gets. As a single parent most of my life, my fear can grow rapidly when I give in to the illusion that I’m alone to face the challenges of my life.
An early sponsor used to say that each day she’d remind herself that nothing would come up that day that she and her higher power together couldn’t handle. Living with that faith is a great way to reduce the sting of fear.
The program encourages us to be “fearless and thorough from the very start.” I continue to work on being more fearless.
Thank you for letting me share. I invite you all to share how fear has affected your recovery and if you’ve attained freedom from fear.