Fear is a corrosive thread that can run through and ruin a life. I don’t recall being particularly fearful when I was growing up. I was afraid of ghosts and had nightmares that any child would, but some fears snuck up on me as I got older. I remember being asked to sing a stanza of Good King Wenceslas in front of my elementary school- I had no fear of that at all. My sister even claims that I did an impromptu dance as I sang. You would never catch me doing that now because of fear.
Fear is a peculiar thing, obviously it is required in order to survive but it can be a bit of a double-edged sword. I fear certain neighborhoods at night and some even during the day that is a rational fear. I have a fear on enclosed areas such as elevators, which know this is an irrational fear. I don’t fear the elevator cable snapping which would be a healthy fear. Put another way: I’d rather have the elevator fall than be stuck between two floors. I don’t fear airplanes but that seems like a healthy fear, but I am uncomfortable in the back seat of a car for an extended time which is admittedly foolish.
Someone I love getting hurt
My parents passing away
Drinking – although I fear this less in that I don’t think I will
Waking up from a nightmare at 3:00 AM- it isn’t rational but it makes sense
Being the center of attention
Fear of being lost (but only while walking- and not when I’m traveling- go figure)
I don’t have very many rational fears- I didn’t realize that until I wrote this silly little list out, but irrational fears?- fugetaboutit. Irrational fears have directed my life in many ways. These fears have subsided somewhat since I’ve quite drinking and have attempted to live a spiritual life but they are still there and they crop up when, as we say in recovery lingo, “I’m feeling ate up”. When I’m edgy, hateful, selfish, self-seeking these fears grow. I have to keep spiritual fit or these fears will begin to run my life again. If this happens I would then have a healthy fear of self-medicating. Drinking, for me, washes all the fears away.
I’ve been thinking about fear because we will have some major changes in our lives. These changes will be good in the long run but they will fill me with fear in the short term. It’s best that I recognize this now, so there are no surprises and that I keep on some kind of spiritual path. Is this something everyone has to do or just us garden variety drunks?