Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Revisiting the "F & P"

Driving with a friend the other night we were talking of someone we knew. I said, "What is it that keeps T from letting go?", to which she replied "Fear and Pain"! Yes the dreaded F and P. We don't really need a drug of choice to keep us from growing, we have our own minds to do that for us.

So because I'm alcoholic, and my mind likes to "hamster wheel" every once in a while I started to think back about my own pain and fears. First of all the fact that I can acknowledge the fact that I was full of both is a milestone. You see I was always the tough one. I wasn't going to be intimidated or put down. I held my own. Held my own what? glass of wine? mixed drink? In reality I didn't hold a damn thing.

Like a house of cards, I built my "illusion" world. I put on the good front, talked the talk, kept up appearances, said the right things, and all it would have taken is for one little breath of air to blow my world apart! Funny how we can fool ourselves into thinking even the most fragile of identities is better than facing our real selves.

So since my world was quickly falling apart I had to do something before the cards collapsed and so that something was AA. Little did I know that I would be confronted with pain, fear, and a million other insecurities that I had picked up along the way! The first was taking a good look in the mirror. That was frightening. Who was that bloated, tired, train wreck? It certainly couldn't be me, I mean I didn't look like that. Upon closer inspection yes, it is me. What the hell happened? How did I age so fast? Why did I look like a deer in the headlights?

Because I was a deer in the headlights! I didn't know who the hell I was and I was terrified of finding out. I was afraid of the past! I never wanted to deal with pain, and I wanted an easier softer way out of this whole mess. But the only easy way was to keep drowning my sorrows in the bottom of the glass every night. So I remembered that "the only fear I had to fear was fear itself"! As I began to look at the past, it was painful, I was scared, but each day got a little better, and before I knew it fear was such a small little misquito that it no longer mattered. Pain like most feelings unless chronic can be short lived as well.

I had let my whole world be dictated by fear, a fear that I had created. The fear of the unknown, and what pain may go with it. It kept me spinning my wheels for years. How wonderful it is to move forward. Do I still have fears? Of course, but I keep it more in line now. It no longer rules me, or wastes valuable energy. And pain is part of life. I don't have to like it, but I can live with it when it happens. This is growth. I began to understand T so much better when I took a stroll down memory lane. I too, was so afraid of the "f & P"! I guess it can happen to all of us, I'm just thankful I found out it wasn't so scary after all!

Fear can make us do crazy things. It can ruin or waste an entire life. But it's also part of life. I was straightening my son's tie and smoothing the lapels of his tuxedo as he was getting ready for his first formal dance the other night. At 17 he is still trying to fit into his own skin. He was nervous, he was fearful. Fear of the unknown. I did the only thing I could do as his mother, smile and say, "go have a great time"! He sighed and headed out the door. Later at the grand march, he had an enormous smile on his face and was proud to be escorting his friend Heather. He had faced the fear, and he was surviving just fine. I couldn't protect him from it anymore than I could protect myself from it.

Face, embrace it, but most of all move on. Lay it down. See it for what it's worth, but never let it keep you from growing and becoming the person you are suppose to be. "F & P" they're just random letters in the alphabet! :)