Fear is an emotion many AA’s are familiar even though they may not recognize when it is happening.
When someone quits drinking, the newcomer is often afraid of many things. Will this work? Will they pick the right sponsor? Are they going to enough meetings? Will they be able to complete the steps successfully?
These fears are genuine and justified given the struggle many have had trying to get sober in the past. Fortunately, the “pink cloud” (this is term AA’s use to describe the initial euphoria of being sober for the first time) help lower fears’ intensity.
But once getting through these early phases, fear will often rear its head again although the AA isn’t aware of it. Often an AA will feel “out of sorts” or even angry or resentful. Why is this they ask? Many times working with their sponsors they will learn that behind these feeling is the fact they are only afraid of something. Fear colors their life in the choices they make and how they react, and they don’t even know it!
As always, it helps the AA to name this feeling for what it is. Be honest with them. I am afraid of… This is a good starting point to get into the solution.
It’s been said in many meetings that fear is merely a lack of faith. This is an oversimplification but holds more than a kernel of truth. After all, in the third step, we turned our will and our life over to the care of a power greater than ourselves. Why should we be afraid? We are afraid because we have lost sight of this and are taking back control.
When we look back on our lives, we often see that most of the things we were afraid of never happened. We also have learned that almost all change has led to some good. We are still sober after all!
The solution to fear is to name what we are afraid of, then get into action. If we are scared of losing our job, we work harder and start looking for a new one. If we are afraid our relationship is in trouble, we ask for help and work harder on being a valuable and loving partner.
In the end fear simply isn’t spiritual. As it has been said, “God didn’t bring you this far to drop you on your bottom.”