Becoming Fearless! (No. 2)

Continued from Becoming Fearless! (No. 1)

I’ve been scared of a lot of things in my life. Somewhere along the way, I decided that most of it isn’t worth the effort. It’s not an easy or natural thing, though, and took me quite a while. However, there were some very memorable milestones along the way that stand out brilliantly in my memory. I thought I’d make a series of posts describing the fears I know about and how I have found to deal with them. As my brand new 2012 saying goes …

“I’m sharing a few, more for me than for you … If you value this mess, then I’ve been a success!” – me

#2 Fear of  not having a drink  – This is a strange fear for me to have, considering I don’t really drink. But it makes sense for me. I grew up with a drunk dad and I’m sure that addiction runs in the family. I had my own run ins with alcohol and drugs when I was a teenager. I know, absolutely for sure, that I’m the same way as him. So somewhere deep down I have the same fear of running out of my addictive stuff. I remember my dad wouldn’t eat at a restaurant if they didn’t serve alcohol. I know he had a fear of not having enough and I know I probably have this fear, too. At least I used to.

What is this fear based on? I’m not really sure, but I’m guessing that addictive things take over some part of the brain and convince me that I need that stuff like most people need air. So the fear of losing air to breath is similar, in the mind, to this. It’s kinda like a fear of suffocating I suppose, but instead of air, it is something devious that has convinced me that I need it. It has convinced me to such an extent that I truly believe that I need this stuff as much as air. Now that is how I feel emotionally, but rationally I think alcohol and drugs generally make me stupid and lazy. I don’t want to be either of those things.

Well I wasn’t buying it. I’m sure I don’t remember all of the gritty details from 20 years ago, but what i did it this: I put on a PR campaign in my head to convince myself that this stuff wasn’t going to control my life like I had seen it control so many others. I took alcohol and poured it down the drain, slowly and intentionally, and studied and felt what I could. I have flushed pot and pills down the drain, too. All this stuff is just stuff. It is much more enjoyable to live life and feel everything without the haze or fog of other fake things in the way, feeling everything during the good times and the bad times. Life is so full of sights and sounds. It is a terrible thing to miss. So I have fooled myself into thinking and feeling that all those addictive things are really a waste of time and life.

I say ‘fooled myself’ because I know the way I was born, the way that runs in the family, is to be addicted to things. I just decided not to be, even though it is still my genetic disposition. I hear about studies on dopamine receptors and such things. I’m sure they will figure all this stuff out sooner or later. There is a reason that something like 30% of the population are addicts .. wherever you look it’s the same. So I still have to watch out for addictive things all the time, but I’m not trapped by any of them. There are many addictive things besides alcohol and drugs. Gambling, food, exercise, sugar, sex, coffee, caffeine, and even blogging. Anything that triggers a reward, for me, could lead to a problem. So I make sure that I admit this to myself and keep a good watch. I can’t very well go through life doing nothing that has any type of reward. What a gloomy existence! But taking everything in moderation and having a broad range of interests has served me well for the last 20 years.

Learning how to give things up, learning that I can throw away things that really have no value to me, has been my savior. If I have to be addicted to something, I’m darn sure it is going to be something valuable, like drawing, studying, or eating fruit. In fact, each of those things is one of my ‘addictions’ if I could make a leap of faith and call them that.

Life is complete with nothing extra. Humans are amazingly self sufficient. Alone and in the dark, I’m still me and life is good. Of course, I don’t want to be alone and in the dark all the time! But it’s good to know that I could and that everything is ok. It gives me peace of mind. Being honest with myself and admitting that I have an “addictive personality” or whatever the current catch phrase is, allows me to be strong and see the truth of things in life.

Upcoming topics:

  • Fear of injury
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing loved one
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of being old and frail
  • Fear of being suckered
  • Fear of being locked up or confined
  • Fear of being jumped or mugged
  • Fear of not winning
  • Fear of looking or feeling like an idiot
  • Fear of being broke
  • Fear of getting lost
  • Fear of being out of control
  • Fear of not having a drink

I’m not sure right now what other things there are to be afraid of, but I’m sure there are plenty more! Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts!

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7 Replies to “Becoming Fearless! (No. 2)”

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