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Nothing to fear but fear itself. Well, according to the program, almost everything boils down to fear itself. So, what does “fear itself” mean to me?

It’s the fear of a feeling. I’m scared to be afraid. Because with these emotions comes helplessness and hopelessness. And what do I fear more than anything? Embarrassment.

Gratitude Week, Day Five: Recognizing fear for what it is: what I make of it.

I’m not concerned that the economy crashes, or everyone dies in a tidal wave, or that my thoughts are being monitored by an unseen government agency. I’m concerned that I will suffer the burning shame of embarrassment over something trivial.

Or, if I choose to dig deeper, it’s the fear that I will be found out as the fraud I am. Not good enough in any area of life. Comparisons make quick fire of this fear. Everywhere I look I’m falling further behind in a race I wasn’t aware I should be running.

And, as always, the fear takes on more power the less I can define it. When the emotion becomes a mood, it’s like freezing Jell-O: no more wiggle room.

My alcoholism used to fix these things in all the wrong ways. Sure, being constantly buzzed reduced the amount of embarrassment I was physically able to feel; however, the number of embarrassing situations I was putting myself in went through the roof.

This program has taught me that I can’t have my dream reality. I can’t have the best of both worlds, as my disease wishes it. And fear will remain a real, dominating force in my life, as long as I fear what I can’t control.

Remember: That’s pretty much everything.

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