How Fear Challenges Sobriety

When I first started getting sober, I was on the proverbial “pink cloud.”  People usually look pretty shocked when I say that but, for many reasons, I was. I was ready to change and be better. My way of life was finally too painful to bare and finding sobriety was less painful than continuing on the path I was on. I had just started writing and working on my blog, I had lifted the weight of a bad relationship off of my shoulders, and I was surrounded by people like me. People with problems around alcohol and drugs. It was really nice, actually. In a time where I needed to be accepted completely and totally, AA fell into my lap and provided a fellowship. They also happened to identify with my bad habits and could offer advice. So, for all intents and purposes, it was exactly the medicine I needed.

I met a particularly awesome person there and being the wise and leveled individual he was, he told me, “You’re on a pink cloud right now but it won’t be there forever. Shit will hit the fan.” Of course, I thought I would be getting a little more time on my pink cloud- I just liked it so much. But within a couple of weeks, all of the shit hit the fan.

My anxiety started to grow with any morsel of bad news I got. “Why can’t I just stay happy?” I would think to myself. I did my best to stay strong. I really did. One fateful night, twenty days into sobriety, I went to a meeting and we talked about fear. I heard many great things that night but one thing stood out to me in particular. Fear was: Future events appearing real. I had been seeking a plan of action, and that night I found it in that small statement:
  1. I had to recognize the anxiety for what it was- fear of the unknown
  2. I had to accept that I was exaggerating and that I could do something about the outcome
  3. I had to channel my anxieties into creating a positive outcome
  4. I had to concentrate on moving forward no matter what
Those days when you feel connected, you love your job, your colleagues, you’re in love and everything is great. Those days are to be looked forward to and it is something to truly be nostalgic about. We talk about them all of the time. Life has always shown, however, that you will have hard days. The hard days are inevitable and I needed to prepare for them so I wouldn’t be caught off-guard when they came my way. When you’re getting sober, you are forced to turn to the honest solution, which is connection and moving forward. Rather than medicating the pain with alcohol and drugs, you must address them head on. I guess, that’s why alcohol and drugs are so sinister. They offer a quick fix for our problems. We get to “have fun” and party. “Forget” about the pain or whatever bullshit thing we say to ourselves to convince ourselves that we’re making the right decision.

-The Curvy Broke Girl

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