M(3), 4/27/15: The Fear Wrap-Up
It feels like forever since I’ve been on this blog, I’ve missed you all terribly! I considered writing a mini-post last week explaining why I wouldn’t be recapping my regular Monday morning meeting, then I mocked myself for thinking that anyone would notice that it was missing, then I argued against the mocking voice, then I got angry at all the voices and told them all to shut the hell up.
So here I am, back. I did not blog last week because I was not able to attend my meeting, the reason for which I will explain as I talk about today’s meeting.
At the beginning of this month I wrote about deciding on the theme of fear for April’s reading selections, the end goal in mind being this fourth week of the month, and the book from which we read, As Bill Sees It. This book is a compilation of several hundred excerpts from AA literature, and it is typically read in a topical fashion. In other words, I select the topic of fear, and then we read all the selections that feature fear as their subject matter.
In the post to which I linked above, I explained I had picked fear as a topic because I’m uncertain how fear plays out in my life. I don’t feel overly fearful, and I don’t often connect the various emotions I do experience to fear the way others in my fellowship seem to do. So April 2015 became the dedicated month of fear for this meeting leader.
Fast forward to Friday, April 17th. I have a wonderful friend in the fellowship who for a time texted a group of us daily morning inspirations. She has not done so for a long time, so when, early that morning I saw the text come in, I read it out loud to my husband. Here’s what the text read:
Don’t let unexpected events throw you off course; rather, respond calmly and confidently. Remember that God is with you. As soon as something grabs your attention, talk to Him about it. This is the way of peace.
Ninety minutes later, I got a call from my daughter at high school: she had been assaulted by a fellow student while getting her books out of her locker. Then I received another phone call from the principal: my daughter has been involved in a fight, and I am to pick her up because she has been suspended for fighting.
And so began the odyssey of 10 days (and counting, because this is far from over in my mind) of crying, worrying, pacing, arguing, conference calling, comforting, numbing (with television and food, thankfully, not mind-altering substances), internet searching, on-the-spot decision-making, threatening, and just general stressing over the safety and future academic setting of my 14-year old daughter.
For the record, my daughter is okay. Her head hurt from where the female student slammed her it into the locker, but otherwise no permanent physical damage. In doing what she could to protect herself, my daughter attempted to hit and kick the girl away from her, and those defensive motions were what caused the school to cite her for fighting and suspend her for three days.
Hence the myriad conference calls. We were even fortunate enough to see the inevitable YouTube video that someone so thoughtfully uploaded for all the world to see, and it was very clear who was the assailant and who was the victim (and also the cause of a very sleepless night replaying the image of my daughter’s attack over and over), but my husband and I are definitely David fighting the Goliath of the school district, albeit with a more unfortunate ending.
So I wanted to know what fear felt like: check.
I wanted to know the various ways fear hides behind other emotions: check, check, check.
Be careful what you wish for, I guess.
Here’s the good news: my apparent telepathic powers allowed me some tools that I would not have had otherwise. Week one of this month taught me that faith combats fear; countless times in the past 10 days I found myself turning to prayer for all sorts of things: peace of mind, guidance for the next right action, patience with both people and the process. I also learned that crisis is a great time to romance the drink. Truthfully (and thankfully) I did not have an urge to chemically alter myself, but I will say the thought of a cigarette crossed my mind on more than one occasion. Playing the tape through helped immensely, as I was taught it would.
Week two of this month gave some incredibly practical tips for dealing with all the things with which I had to deal over the last 10 days. I wish I could say I took advantage of all of them, in the moment they were needed; sadly I did not. However, remembering the serenity prayer from time to time, and especially remembering the phrase “this too shall pass” were powerfully effective weapons against the increasing stress and tension each day brought to me.
Week 3 I guess I didn’t need to learn anything, since my meeting was usurped by various combative calls from all levels of school district administration.
So here we are at week four, and the readings that I wanted to read in the first place. And they have been placed after the event for a reason, since believe me the fear is far from over, today is more or less Day One of my daughter’s return to school, and my cell phone is never more than an inch away from my body while she is not home.
Today’s readings, for me, reinforced the idea that faith is the opposite of fear. In the absence of complete faith, acting as if works in the interim. I prayed, I researched options, I discussed the issue with a variety of people, and sending her back to school for the remaining two months seems to be the right thing to do. At this point, having faith means to send her off and believe she will be okay until I see her after school today.
Wow, so many words, and I haven’t even gotten to all the other amazing discussions we had at this morning’s meeting! The sharing took a small turn from generalized fears to the more specific fears concerning anonymity, and to whom we feel comfortable disclosing our disease of alcoholism. A variety of people shared on this topic, with a variety of answers, but the general consensus seems to be three-fold:
- It is a personal decision
- The longer your sober time is, the less anxiety this topic seems to bring
- When the motive for disclosing your anonymity is to help another struggling with the disease, the answer is always to share our story. To give what was so freely given to us is the foundation of our 12-step program!
Enough blathering from me, go out and enjoy this spring day!
The joy in my daughter’s face as she headed off to school today reaffirms my decision to have faith!
Posted on April 27, 2015, in Monday Meeting Miracles, Recovery and tagged 12 step program, AA, Acceptance, Addiction, Alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, fear, Miracle, Monday, Parenting, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.