Unmasking Fear

Recognizing Fear in Sobriety

Fear is an emotion with which many members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are intimately familiar, even if they do not always recognize it. When someone decides to quit drinking, the newcomer typically grapples with a multitude of fears: Will the program work? Will they choose the right sponsor? Are they attending enough meetings? Will they successfully complete the steps?

These fears are not only genuine but also justified, given the hurdles many have faced while attempting to attain sobriety in the past. The initial euphoria of sobriety, often referred to as the “pink cloud” in AA parlance, helps alleviate the intensity of these fears.

Fear in the Later Stages of Sobriety

However, as one progresses through the early stages of sobriety, fear often resurfaces, albeit in less identifiable forms. An AA member may feel “out of sorts” or experience anger or resentment, failing to trace these emotions back to underlying fear. By working with their sponsors, they often discover that unacknowledged fear is the primary driving force behind their emotional turbulence.

Facing Fear Head-On

Acknowledging and naming this fear is the first step towards finding a solution. It’s helpful to say it out loud: “I am afraid of…” This candid recognition often provides the gateway to effective solutions.

Fear: A Lack of Faith?

In AA meetings, it’s common to hear that fear is merely a lack of faith. While this notion might seem overly simplistic, it carries a grain of truth. After all, in the third step of AA, we surrender our will and life to a higher power. If this is true, why should fear plague us? The answer often lies in our propensity to lose sight of this surrender and revert to controlling our destinies.

Looking Back and Moving Forward

A retrospective glance at our lives often reveals that the majority of our fears never materialized. Additionally, we learn that most changes, even seemingly drastic ones, have resulted in some form of growth or improvement. Maintaining sobriety is a testament to this.

Acting Against Fear

The remedy for fear is recognition, followed by action. If we fear losing our jobs, we should strive to work harder or start searching for a new one. If our relationships appear threatened, we should seek help and invest more in becoming a supportive and loving partner.

Overcoming Fear Through Spirituality

In conclusion, fear is not conducive to spiritual growth. As the saying goes, “God didn’t bring you this far to drop you on your bottom.”

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