Facing Your Fears and Making Changes Anyway
OHHHHH…facing our fears…all the ghosts of the past that might come to haunt us…but still doing something to embrace recovery and change in the midst of them all.
Oh…how do we do that? First, we acknowledge that we DO have fears! Perhaps do a 4th step and LOOK at them…where are those ghosts hiding? Where did they come from? Wasn’t it because self-reliance had failed us? What am you going to DO about them?
Let’s check. What fears do you have? How do they affect you now?
v Perhaps you have fears about being inadequate….so you people please and don’t say NO to offers or responsibilities…and then find yourself overwhelmed.
v Maybe you have fear of loss of work: of setting limits and saying NO to extra work and having your boss be angry with you and express it to you. Then you’re apprehensive about financial insecurity and maybe fearful about the future?
v Another ghost might being fearful that people won’t like you if you don’t help them out….You can feel sad about their distress (and want to fix the situation) but really don’t have the time, energy, spiritual or emotional resources to offer support at the time.
v Another ghost might be being fearful of hurting people’s feelings…so you don’t tell people what you’re really thinking or what you really want to do. Oh, what a ghost!
v Another goblin could be the fear of being different from other people…so you might abandon yourself and your recovery in various situations, or when you’re with certain groups of people?…all so that you don’t “rock the boat.”
v A BIG ghoul is fear of security and having power…so you fall into all sort of horrific fantasies about the future and your inability to control it!!
v Maybe you have a fear of loss of control…of people you love, or events that you want OR don’t want to occur, or places that you’re trying to get away from?
v It’s also normal to have fears of death, and of aging, and getting sick...oh, what to do?
v And lastly, fear that your hopes might not be realized and your worst fears WILL happen!
Yikes…… In all of those fears—remember to “your own self be true.”
ALL of that fear, anxiety, worry, and distress MAKE YOUR MIND AND EMOTIONS A MESS! So, think about the past. What have you frequently turned to a fix or numb out all of those situations? Maybe, you’ve turned to the monster food! YES! We have wrapped ourselves in the cocoon of food! Has it really made things better? NO! Really, only worse. So what can you do?
Use the tools and steps of the OA program AND seek outside support—both from groups and individual counseling. For me, that has proved to be invaluable to help me “unstick” my automatic reactions and habits to life experiences. I needed to explore MANY areas and skills: Setting healthy boundaries and assertiveness, non-violent communication, how to provide appropriate support and help to loved ones, how to stay in balance (when my head and heart can easily dream up commitments that my body can’t keep), meditation and mindfulness, I needed to learn how to manage emotional eating and how to restore myself in healthy ways when I get out-of-balance. I even needed to learn about making quick and healthy foods in a busy life. This took time, support, and LOTS of practice. Learning these skills freed me from my fears, and helped me create my world differently.
I also want to share a powerful tool that I have used. Writing a good bye letter to food……and having a ceremony of release…and then practicing recovery in all of my affairs.
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