Tara Brach writes: The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity. We spend our time and energy defending our life rather than living it.
My reflection: When my son was in active addiction, I felt fearful – both when he was on the streets and when he was in recovery. Would he make it this time? Would another relapse happen? Would he be arrested again? Would I get another dreaded phone call in the middle of the night? Would he live?
Today’s Promise to consider: Fear enters the very cells of our being, and we become anxious and reactive. Our minds race as we think about the possibilities of our child’s death or a life where they are permanently chained to drugs. Not only are we afraid, but so are our addicted loved ones. I know from my many conversations with those suffering from addiction’s grasp that they fear both living with and living without drugs. Craving, obsession, rejection, failure and shame conspire to keep them locked in place. Today, let us pray, find solidarity in our support groups, exercise, talk with a therapist – let us do whatever it takes to regain our lives. Would you share any helpful ways that you have found to deal with fear?
Every single word of this article resonates with me. Thank you.
Thank you. We walk together. xo
I think talking about what I fear is the best way to diminish it. To verbalize is to vaporize. A quote I heard in AA long ago.
Thanks, Edward. I do the same – talk about it, write about it. I love the quote – ‘to verbalize is to vaporize.’ Thanks for sharing.
After many years living in fear it has only just occurred to me that, as fear is actually the opposite of love, a way to work with fear is to practice love by orienting myself, whenever I can, in an open-hearted space. Libby, your words and Tara Brach’s resonate very deeply, thank you always for writing as you do.
Thank you, Pamela. I love your comment about love being the opposite of fear. If we can keep an open-heart and stay in gratitude, we can move from fear into love. Tara Brach is wonderful, and I’m delighted that her words resonate with you. She’s one of my favorite Buddhist practitioners. xoxo
Thank you this really hit home. I’ve been trying NOT to project the future, because when I do I get very bad anxiety. Speaking to a therapist and attending weekly family meetings provided by the facility my daughter is in have been helping as well..
Same with me — projecting into the future made me crazy. Somehow, I thought that if I could figure out what I would do IF something happened, I would be better prepared. The Buddhist call that ‘monkey mind’ – that constant state when our minds swirl and jump. Good for you that you are taking proactive action with a therapist and family meetings. I’ll stay close in love and prayer.
Praying to God for peace and strength helped me reduce my fear. God never fully took it away but I know there was a reason. I would write out my fears on paper then pray for God to remove them. I would also call my 12 step sponsor and visit. I also had a Christian alcohol/drug counselor and we would pray at the end of every session.
Dear Pat, You are wise. Your comment about praying reduced your fear, but God ‘never fully took it away.’ I felt the same way. While I found great comfort in prayer, I needed to do more. Writing is a great way, as someone shared, “To verbalize is to vaporize.” A sponsor, a family support group, and a counselor are all great helps. We need a full-court press to deal with our fears. My sincere thanks. xo