Fear of accepting
Many fears kept me on the fence with sobriety for a long time. Fear of accepting I had a problem, fear of the label of alcoholic and the fear of a new way of life I heard about in recovery. When I drank, I felt free of my overwhelming emotions and problems. Drinking was my solution to dealing with fear and how could I handle life without it? What would life look like without alcohol? How would I manage to handle things? I was afraid.
Today I know exactly what life looks like without alcohol. The fear that kept me in and out, on the fence, one foot in and one foot out of the program, finally gave way to real freedom. I learned a radical new idea: acceptance. Acceptance that I am an alcoholic, acceptance that there is Power greater than myself at work in my life, and acceptance that all things will happen in due course and time, when and how they are meant to be.
Before sobriety, I believed that you got things done in life by bulldozing through them. If you wanted something you made it happen! I could not get sober with that mentality and slowly accepted that was true of other things in my life as well. Anyone who knew me as a resident at BRC Recovery, knows that I had a lot of difficulty in letting go of one thing. When I came to Texas I was on leave from my obtaining my PhD. I was convinced all I needed to do was get back to the university because I was too afraid to lose everything that I had worked so hard for. Alcoholism was already robbing me of the things I valued and cared about the most but I could not see that.
Looking back, I believe that for me to become sober and whole, I had to let go of the things I had used to define me. This included not only alcohol, but my PhD. and my career. These were the things I had leaned on in place of a Higher Power. About 5 years after leaving BRC Recovery, I am living a life beyond anything I could have imagined for myself. I do not do things perfectly at all! But I know who I am and I can be authentic today. I can show up for others in my life. I do not live in world of fear anymore and I have been relieved of the obsession to drink. With the help of my Higher Power I can accomplish things that I never thought possible.
It was by letting go of what I thought I wanted and needed that I was provided with the things that I really needed. Next fall, I am thrilled to be going back to school to complete my PhD. at The University of Texas. Even more exciting to me is that I get to live a full and meaningful life today, I have a program of integrity and honesty and am surrounded by people who have become my family. They have taught me to love others and myself unconditionally. When we learn acceptance, fear loses its power. When fear loses its power, freedom and serenity have room to move in and allow us to get in touch with the real power of God. And for that, I am grateful.