By: Marilyn L. Davis
“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear; it’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to. ~Marilyn Ferguson
Many of us stood on the metaphorical platform holding onto the only thing we knew – using. We often realized that one misplaced step, and we’d be free-falling into the abyss once again. Because that’s what our addiction does, it takes us down.
Unlike the trapeze artist, we usually don’t have a safety net to catch us when we fall.
And usually, we fall hard, fast, and sometimes, with deadly consequences.
Will I Free Fall and Fail Again?
In our addiction, we live with fears all the time – the knock on the door – is it the cops or our dealer; the bills are almost due, and we have no money, and when, if ever, will our families talk to us? Sure, we use more to cover them up, but the fears are still underneath. Some fears are realistic, and some are not.
Then there’s the fear of failure if we try to get clean. Because many people failed in their attempts at recovery before, they continue to stand there on the platform, doing nothing but letting their fear of the unknown keep them stuck.
Recovery Offers the Safety Net
I know it’s frightening to give up drugs and alcohol. I can remember on that night in 1988 when I realized that I was in withdrawal, couldn’t hide that fact, and had a choice to make – do I cooperate with treatment and hopefully get better, or do I gut this out and go back to using?
That was a difficult choice. But I chose to stay and get better.
That choice didn’t mean I was without fear, but people surrounded me and helped me. They became a safety net of sorts.
I value words because I think they can console us, motivate us, and encourage us. I remember reading Emma Donghue, and loving this quote, “Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”
I think the most comforting thing about recovery is that I don’t have to do it alone. I can depend on the recovery warriors who are willing to help me, share their knowledge, and catch me when I’m about to fall. That’s reassuring and means that my fears are lessened. All those people who came before me left a legacy of being brave while feeling the fear, and all I have to do is what they did.
Let’s Be Brave Together
Am I fearless? No. I have merely decided that I’ll be brave while still feeling scared. I know that 23 million other people are in recovery and will stand by me and encourage me; that helps me be brave and take the next leap of faith.
- What are you doing today that demonstrates your bravery?
- How are you overcoming your fears and moving forward in your recovery?
- What is the biggest fear you’ve had to deal with in your recovery?
- We talk about “feel the fear and do it anyway.” What do you think is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Writing and recovery heal the heart.
Bio: Marilyn L. Davis
Marilyn is the editor-in-chief at From Addict 2 Advocate and Two Drops of Ink. She believes in the power of words to heal and encourage others. For people in recovery, that means sharing your story, so here’s a link for a guest post.
For other writers, it’s encouraging them to submit poetry, prose, or a problem-solving post for writers and bloggers. Here’s the link for Two Drops of Ink Submission Guidelines.
Her memoir, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.