I’ve come to understand that my fears are just random feelings using me for target practice. I’ve also come to understand that my fears are usually based on thoughts that have taken residence in my head. My mind is not always a healthy neighborhood to visit, let alone live in, and that is because my thoughts are often in control of me, rather than the other way around. I need to remember that my mind is just another tool for me to use in my recovery, and the idea is that I use my tools, not let my tools use me.
My Higher Power has given me a lot of gifts to be used for a healthy life and to be of service. Being clean, sober and abstinent allows me to think clearly and choose the thoughts I give power to, the thoughts that are healthy and useful, and the thoughts I put in the “discard pile.” When I’m feeling fearful, pausing to make conscious contact and look at what I’m thinking can often decrease or eliminate my fear in that moment. Of course, it will return because I have a very determined disease that wants me to live in fear, but I also have a Higher Power who has shown me how to deal with my fears.
Is there a tiger in a tree above me, about to pounce? If so, the thought that I am in danger is very reasonable and fear makes sense. But when my fearful thoughts are based on anything that is in the future and there is no healthy action needed in this moment, then my fear is not useful. So change my thought!
It helps me to imagine that I have one of two voices in my head at any given time, either the voice of my disease or the voice of my recovery. It’s up to me to choose which to listen to and which to ignore. I’m very grateful for the healthy mind I have been blessed with and grateful for the 12-Step program that has helped me clean it up and keep it a friendly neighborhood.