Fear as a Steppingstone – Friday A.B.S.I.
It was a rather dour day. The clouds came early and kept the sunshine from baking us this afternoon. It was cooler during the day than it has been over the past few days.
Alas, the dirty, sweaty, humpy roofer guys are gone.
They finished the job during the afternoon, having set down the final layer of roofing, cleaned up after themselves and departed the neighborhood.
When I finally got up – they were gone.
It was the quiet that I noticed first, after the past three days of voices, roofers and big machines and cranes.
I took my time departing this evening. I left early hoping to make quick transfers and there were trains in the station in both directions.
It was a full house tonight. I arrived early and got my coffee and hung out with the guys who were there for set up and chair.
Tonight’s A.B.S.I. – Fear as a Steppingstone
“Fear can be a steppingstone to prudence and to a decent respect for others. It can point the path to justice, as well as to hate. And the more we have of respect and justice, the more we shall begin to find the love which can suffer much, and yet be freely given. So fear need not always be destructive, because the lesson of its consequences can lead us to positive values.”
Grapevine, January 1962
I have many thoughts about fear. And on the first pass tonight, I zoomed right in on my slip. And I shared the story about what it was like being addicted to drugs (which were illegal) and could have ended me up in a jail cell …
Thank God for small mercies …
Drinking alcohol did not carry that same fear, because it was plenty and it was legal. I have said in the past that when I pulled that geographic I ended up in a place and situation that already existed. A situation, from the get go, was a No Win Scenario.
I don’t know what possessed me, well I do, and that ONE need was never supplied. But I dropped myself into a life path the was full of fear, anxiety and insanity.
I was just God damned lucky to have found a way out when I did.
We heard the acronym again tonight.
Fuck everything and run (or) Face everything and recover.
We also heard directly what Bill wrote about fear in the Big Book, don’t ask me to repeat it, because I can’t remember what was said.
Many of my friends zeroed in on things that I too feared in my time.
Paperboy said that he feared that there would not be enough alcohol wherever he would end up, so he would always bring extra. I never feared the end of the bottle. I drank until I could not drink any more, and there was always more to be had.
The second thing he mentioned was the fear of not having enough money, and finding himself in a dep buying bread and milk and swiping his interac and “insufficient funds” came up.
I’ve been there too.
The Ninth promise … “Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.”
I was never really fearful of people, because I trusted all those alcoholics I met in the rooms, especially here in Montreal. I never got lied to or screwed over ever!
But it has taken years and years to stop worrying about money.
We’ve always had enough, and there were times when we went without. I still have a healthy fear of the end of the month syndrome. And it is always a close shave. When it comes to money.
There is a healthy fear, and there is unhealthy fear.
I have a healthy fear of dying. Because I live on borrowed time.
Before I got sober the first time, I drank to forget. I drank to escape. And at the end of my first last drink, I was drinking to kill myself because death by AIDS was something I could not think for myself after seeing all my friends die before me.
Thankfully Todd stepped in a took away my fear. And saved me, twenty times over. I learned a great deal from him over the years we were together.
Coming off my slip, I was just drinking to fit it. I guess you could say that I was drinking in fear of growing up, because I believed, delusionally, that the alcohol was going to make me 21 and beach bod buff.
Alas, that did not happen.
And in the end it was fear that took me to my second last drink.
After a binge, what did I look like, who took me out of the bar, who got me in a taxi and how did I get home in in through several (key locked) doors to end up in my apartment.
I did not know, and after several occurrences when this happened, I knew it was time to quit drinking.
And thankfully, the club I drank at, after I quit drinking, shut its doors for good.
I like to joke that the last alcoholic left the building so they had to close.
I acknowledge my fears, and I deal with them. I don’t take my life for granted any more, because who knows when I am going to loose this mortal coil.
It was a good night.
More to come, stay tuned …