Fearless, but so fearful

The 12 Steps are the AA program of recovery from alcoholism.

Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:39 pm

Hi I am Feeya,
I am an alcoholic and a drug addict.
I am nineteen days sober and just started working on my fourth step.
Now I do realise that step four is about overcoming the fear of facing your past in order to make an inventory, but I need to get something off my chest.
I hate it!
To start off, I made a list of events, situations, people that provoke some kind of intense feelings, just so I have something to start with.
With every event/ person I wrote down I couldn't help but try to blame them.
I know I am responsible for my behaviour but at first I could not help but see other people at fault for my misery and the reason I started drinking.
I think it's because I was so young when I started drinking, I was twelve and so deeply traumatised, I thought that I am not at fault for my self centered, egotistical, mean behaviour while I was drinking.
For the longest time I thought that everyone else was at fault for what I had been going through and that there was no way I was in any way responsible for anything I did.
'It is not me, it is them.'

My sponsor said to me today, the fact I hate step four is a good sign that I am on the right track though... So I'll keep digging.

I wasn't able to share that at a meeting yet so I thought I'd share it here.
Thank you
One day at a time.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Brock » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:22 am

My sponsor said to me today, the fact I hate step four is a good sign that I am on the right track though... So I'll keep digging.

Your sponsor sounds like a wise person, not just for saying this, but also for having you get to this stage after 19 days.

I believe it is most helpful to list things but don't think at first who is to blame, the book suggests the person (or institution), followed by what they did and then how it affected you, just short notes. It is not until we turn the page in the book, the list having been completed, that they say “We turned back to the list...” Now we are looking for any possible fault on our part. It may be difficult to not be thinking of who is to blame when actually writing the persons name, and how they screwed up a part of your life, but from my experience trying your best to do so makes the list easier to write, a list of facts these things happened and this is how they made me feel, afterwards we shall decide who is to blame. Keep up the very good work.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby D'oh » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:59 am

I really felt the Daily Reflections from April 17th

LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49

"Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there." I don't know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.
I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn't know that one of the definitions of "courage" is "the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear." Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn't have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.


There is a Guide on this "Road of Happy Destiney" if we let him. Until I thoroughly understood and did the 3rd Step, I struggled with the 4th Step.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Patsy© » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:34 am

My sponsor said to me today, the fact I hate step four is a good sign that I am on the right track though... So I'll keep digging.


Congratulations Feeya on 19 days sober and for choosing a really good sponsor.

In Step 4, on page 48, in the Twelve and Twelve: "For pride, leading to self-justification, and always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears, is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress."

Self Justification leading to Rationalization of the Excuse to ......take the next drink.

When my sponsor was taking me through the 12 Steps, especially when we got to a place where I was reluctant and/or afraid, she used to smile and just say to me......."Patsy, put one foot in front of the other, JUST DON'T THINK...and walk right through the Fear, there is a solution on the other side"
It was true, because I had the mind of an alcoholic and it was my "thinking" that got me here. Step 4 helped me to take a good look at the person that I brought through those doors of AA, so that between God and I...we could change that person, one step at a time.

Self Centered Fear is a thief, it keeps us stuck and steals our peace of mind!


The person that I brought into AA, was full of DENIAL = Don't Even Notice I Am Lying.... and absolutely incapable of looking at myself, because if I had taken a good look at me..... I would have had to take a good look at my drinking.....and that, wasn't going to happen.

I loved my sponsor, she was honest, could be tough, could be loving and she was always truthful with me, even when my wee widdle feelings would get hurt! lol

So, it sounds like you have a great sponsor and it sounds like you are very enthusiastic with a willingness to go to any length.

Congrats Feeya, you are on a wonderful journey of finding out who you brought into AA and how to change that person, one step at a time, one day at a time. Just remain Honest Openminded and Willing. :)
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:59 am

Brock wrote:
My sponsor said to me today, the fact I hate step four is a good sign that I am on the right track though... So I'll keep digging.

It may be difficult to not be thinking of who is to blame when actually writing the persons name, and how they screwed up a part of your life, but from my experience trying your best to do so makes the list easier to write, a list of facts these things happened and this is how they made me feel, afterwards we shall decide who is to blame.

Yes, it is hard, but what you suggest ist exactly what I am trying to do. I try to accept the fact that this is how I feel (angry at others for the most part) but I won't let that distract me from doing what I have to do.
I feel like I am quite a reflective person and a lot of times I already know what to do and just let my thinking get in the way... but knowing that, I already know what I got to do :D
One day at a time.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:04 am

Patsy© wrote:
My sponsor said to me today, the fact I hate step four is a good sign that I am on the right track though... So I'll keep digging.


When my sponsor was taking me through the 12 Steps, especially when we got to a place where I was reluctant and/or afraid, she used to smile and just say to me......."Patsy, put one foot in front of the other, JUST DON'T THINK...and walk right through the Fear, there is a solution on the other side"
It was true, because I had the mind of an alcoholic and it was my "thinking" that got me here. Step 4 helped me to take a good look at the person that I brought through those doors of AA, so that between God and I...we could change that person, one step at a time.

Yes, that is what everyone including myself tells me every single day: Don't think!
I struggle a lot with that, because I am much of a thinker, but I alreasy know that that is not good and that my thoughts keep lying to me!
I am often very reluctant but end up doing things anyway, because most of the times I know what I got to do... It is just that I don't want to. :D

I am very enthusiastic because I know the more I work this the easier it will get over time! And I can't wait for the day where I wake up and 'wanting to drink' won't be the first thing on my mind!
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:09 am

D'oh wrote:I really felt the Daily Reflections from April 17th

LOVE AND FEAR AS OPPOSITES

All these failings generate fear, a soul-sickness in its own right.
— TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 49

"Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; no one was there." I don't know to whom this quote should be attributed, but it certainly indicates very clearly that fear is an illusion. I create the illusion myself.
I experienced fear early in my life and I mistakenly thought that the mere presence of it made me a coward. I didn't know that one of the definitions of "courage" is "the willingness to do the right thing in spite of fear." Courage, then, is not necessarily the absence of fear.
During the times I didn't have love in my life I most assuredly had fear. To fear God is to be afraid of joy. In looking back, I realize that, during the times I feared God most, there was no joy in my life. As I learned not to fear God, I also learned to experience joy.


There is a Guide on this "Road of Happy Destiney" if we let him. Until I thoroughly understood and did the 3rd Step, I struggled with the 4th Step.


Thank you.
Yes, I look at most of the negative feelings I experience as illusions. That is the reason I am here, because I tell myself every day, that being afraid is just something I create in my own head. Not more, and not less!
I often times used to say: Oh I can't do that, because... well I just can't!
Now a days I try to tell myself that I don't really have much to lose so I could at least give it a try (for example being afraid of speaking at a meeting, or going to a meeting in the first place).
Most of the things I have given a try since I got sober seem to be working very well... and the more I realise that the less extreme I experience fear!
One day at a time.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby positrac » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:07 am

In case you didn't know: Step work is a life long event as we will always have amends to make and we often remember events long after our first 4 & 5th step purges. Do what you can and you can always go back and dust up on what you forgot, or feared.

Keep up the good work.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:36 am

positrac wrote:In case you didn't know: Step work is a life long event as we will always have amends to make and we often remember events long after our first 4 & 5th step purges. Do what you can and you can always go back and dust up on what you forgot, or feared.

Keep up the good work.

Thank you! Yes I know that! And I know that not everything will come back to me right know and there are things I probably won't even realise or remember! I will keep this as an open list that I can always go back to, whenever there is something new I need to adress...
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby cpr123 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:02 am

This is one of the "any lengths to achieve sobriety" that is talked about in the meetings. Contrary to what I hear that "any lengths to achieve sobriety" means going to as many meetings as possible. Follow the advice of your sponsor and push through the step. It is not easy but once on the other side of step 5 it will be worth it. When I worked on mine I tried at first to hammer it out all at once then found that I couldn't work on it for more than an hour at a time because I'd get mentally exhausted. Be honest and write it down. I am happy for you that you are doing this, keep it up.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby clouds » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:58 am

A few things that may help.

At the beginning of step four in the BB it says this thing about it being a fact facing and fact finding process and about how we are taking stock, just like we would in a business. That attitude is the goal and without that imo, its going to be difficult.

One of our members here said on another topic that if we are having trouble with a step, going backward to the last one we did can be effective. It may be that step three will provide you with the detachment you need. Maybe give step three a little more time keeping in mind the things step three says in the BB about fear, maybe read those pages describing step three over again along with step two as a review.
Willingness to do the steps is key, then leave the results to your Higher Power.

All the best! with your initiative I don't worry so much that you wouldn't find yourself soon drawing out those columns and filling them in with your own defects of character along side those names you've bot listed! Good on for making s great beginning on this foirth step to freedom.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Tosh » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:34 am

Feeya wrote:I know I am responsible for my behaviour but at first I could not help but see other people at fault for my misery and the reason I started drinking.
I think it's because I was so young when I started drinking, I was twelve and so deeply traumatised, I thought that I am not at fault for my self centered, egotistical, mean behaviour while I was drinking.


One thing to note is that whatever or whoever traumatised you when you were 12 years old; YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT; you were a child. Your responsibility, now you're an adult is how that trauma affects you now.

I'd just like to point that out.

And I hated doing my Step 4 too. And the thought of a Step 5 terrified me too. :lol:

Don't worry about your amends though; by the time you get to Step 9, you will be a different person. Promise.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Feeya » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:49 am

Tosh wrote:
Feeya wrote:I know I am responsible for my behaviour but at first I could not help but see other people at fault for my misery and the reason I started drinking.
I think it's because I was so young when I started drinking, I was twelve and so deeply traumatised, I thought that I am not at fault for my self centered, egotistical, mean behaviour while I was drinking.


One thing to note is that whatever or whoever traumatised you when you were 12 years old; YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT; you were a child. Your responsibility, now you're an adult is how that trauma affects you now.

I'd just like to point that out.

And I hated doing my Step 4 too. And the thought of a Step 5 terrified me too. :lol:

Don't worry about your amends though; by the time you get to Step 9, you will be a different person. Promise.


Thank you very much for pointing that out. Both, the fact that I wasn't responsible for what had been done to me as a child, but also for pointing out that as I progress in step work my view on the world will change. I will change!
I know I am not at fault for the things that happened in my childhood, because I could not have prevented that from happening. But not taking the actions I needed to take, in order to overcome that, that is my responsibility.

Yes, step four is terrifying and for now I am back to step three.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby positrac » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:12 am

Feeya wrote:
positrac wrote:In case you didn't know: Step work is a life long event as we will always have amends to make and we often remember events long after our first 4 & 5th step purges. Do what you can and you can always go back and dust up on what you forgot, or feared.

Keep up the good work.

Thank you! Yes I know that! And I know that not everything will come back to me right know and there are things I probably won't even realise or remember! I will keep this as an open list that I can always go back to, whenever there is something new I need to adress...



I will say it is shocking how some things will come back to you when you least expect it. In short I had an experience with an old childhood friend and he mentioned an event and I became so mad. it wasn't him as it was the event that triggered my raging anger and it was when I was like 12 or 13 years old and they was twenty years ago. Point is I didn't need to drink over it and I did need to kick the crap out of it as it was one powerful rent free memory space in my head and eventually it wasn't so big and powerful.

Be well.
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Re: Fearless, but so fearful

Postby Patsy© » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:52 am

Yes, step four is terrifying and for now I am back to step three.


Hi Feeya,

I am going to suggest going back to Step One..... this is what I learned years ago from those who came long long before I did....Step One is the only Step we Need to get perfect, if we don't have Step one, we have nothing at all.

Just something to ponder :)
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