To the hopeless self admitted alcoholic like myself, fear is an evil and corroding thread I believe it says. I am driven by a hundred forms of it? The fabric of my existence was shot through with it. Woven into trains of circumstance that brought me misfortune I felt I didn't deserve but didn't I myself set the ball rolling? Fear should be classed with stealing. Yeah, I get it.. I am the emotional thief. When I am full of fear I will selfishly grab any emotional security I can from anyone fancied or real to raise my level of self esteem back to a state suitable to me. I am a survivor. The Book suggests selfishness and self centeredness or (fear) is the root of my alcoholism. I believe it. I have seen it.
Fear set in motion trains of circumstance? Hmmm, you mean post trauma fear? Fear from trauma? Reoccurring fear connected to trauma? OK. I feel trauma should only apply for those confined to Auschwitz so my stuff is nothing really.. right? Well who's to say? Some will survive extreme loneliness and despair only to hang themselves over a broken shoelace. Rather than compare I will look at my own forms of trauma, where did the fear come from? Can I look without blame? Can I see myself? Personally no, I cannot. I must rely on the power of the Spirit for this kind of courage.
So, I witnessed a drunk guy abusing an elderly woman one day. I thought it was bad sure, very bad. A few others remarked that it wasn't so bad as this guy was drunk and the old woman didn't seem to really care anyway. As it seemed as this guy was getting away with this? I was beside myself. Soon after I saw this guy as the devil himself where nothing short of a firing squad was adequate punishment. I was alone in my intense feelings. Like the Book says, I was unable to see where I had started the "this guy must die" ball rolling. All I could see was he was getting away with abusing the old woman. A few asked me why I was so angered? I couldn't believe they couldn't see what I saw and believe as I did.. Just the idea there was another thought besides mine put me on the defense. I now didn't trust anyone who didn't believe as I did. They were just as bad as him in my eyes. What had started out as a drunk guy pushing a old woman out of the way became a psychotic mad man on the loose almost killing an elderly woman in my eyes. I was off the hook.
It got worse. One of the people who witnessed the abuse cornered me and was asking me personal questions like haven't I ever drank a bit too much and haven't I bumped into people when I had a few too many? I saw this as an act of betrayal. I could not answer. Actually It's like I had shut down completely, I couldn't think or remember anything really. The person talking to me waited but nothing came. I could not speak. What had happened to me? Where did I go?
I was full of fear, my own fear. I was five years old, whipped and beaten unconscious by my father. The horrors of my life's unresolved issues were oozing out. Five years old. Twelve and forced to fight at school. Fifteen fighting anyone anywhere anytime for any reason. Afraid of people now, lashing out at anyone deemed a threat.. Up into my fifties I witness an unwarranted act of violence and run for cover all the way back to five, searching for the emotional security that was knocked out of my hands as I curled up against the wall in the corner of my bed. It still is gone. My self reliance, my willingness, it had been stolen. The majority of my life has been countless failed attempts to generate courage and strength, high self esteem. It never came. I was full of fear, self centered to the extreme. I would spend some 40 something years running from person to person looking for myself. Trying everyone on and feeling the fit. But still no me.
The Big Book 12 Steps are a set of instructions to a way of Spiritual freedom. A daily reprieve to the hopeless alcoholic like myself. The one who has lost the power of choice with alcohol. The one who is forever rearranging people places and things in hopes of assembling their fragmented emotional puzzle. On the suggested Spiritual Path I am not afraid to live.