Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Common Fears?

At a recent management meeting the topic of the discussion was "fear." And the fears brought up in that meeting ran the gamut. Among those mentioned were fears of:

*Failure on the job.

*Speaking at a meeting.

*Health problems.

*Being around people.

*Relapsing.

*Going back to jail again.

*Trying anything new.

These were only a few of the fears mentioned, because the list went on and on. But after listening for a while I began to wonder. Are we alcoholics and addicts different from people in the general population? After all, I hear about these same phobias in the mainstream media. With the exception of going to jail or relapsing, it seems that many of the things that were brought up in our management meeting are common fears shared by the rest of the world.

Perhaps because we addicts are so, so sensitive our problems might seem larger-than-life. And they may also seem so because we pay heavy consequences when we don't deal with our problems effectively. Our solution when we were facing the seemingly insurmountable was to put alcohol or drugs in our body. And then, of course, we pay the consequences.

Perhaps one of the positive things that came out of the meeting, at least in my mind, was that we even admitted we have fears. Some of us addicts and alcoholics are so defensive, and we act so much like we have it all together, that we often won't admit we‘re afraid of anything.

And this in the face of the reality that many of us are afraid of nearly everything we encounter.