Fear has been called “the evil and corroding thread that weaves its way through the very fabric of our existence.” (1) . That certainly has been and can be the case with me.
I went through a particularly tumultuous time in my life and would find myself awaking each morning in terror and dread, filled with fear. Fear of what might occur on any given day clouded my first thoughts upon waking.
I didn’t understand why this was happening, for I had been asleep until that point. I even developed resentment against God in the process, for in working a twelve-step program, I had prayed that my fears would be removed. Yet, most mornings they were still rearing their ugly heads and begging for my attention.
It’s hard to describe exactly what fear feels like. It’s a deep-seated feeling that something awful is going to happen and there’s nothing that I can do to keep it from occurring. These “worst-case scenarios” would twist and turn in my mind and in turn, creating an even higher level of anxiety.
The first thought in contemplating any action regarding the fears was to run and hide. Anything to keep from having to face the dreaded situation. But then there was the realization that fleeing from fearful thoughts many times just increased their power over me.
I’ve also realized that fear and the anxious thoughts that can cloud my mind are never totally going to exit my mind’s way of processing life.
I’ve learned to move forward with courage, knowing that life is most of the time unpredictable and that most fears I’ve played out in my mind never actually transpired as I may have supposed.
If the fears actually come to fruition, as they sometimes will, I will be able to handle those situations the best I can.
(1) The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous