Monday, January 16, 2012

Continuing the conversation

Denise's comment from yesterday's post jolted something in my brain, and I'd like to thank her for it.

If you're in recovery, you've probably already heard this, discussed this, felt this, learned this, accepted this:
The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear – primarily fear that we would lose something we already possessed or would fail to get something we demanded.
12&12, p. 76, Step Seven
If you're not in recovery, it's worth thinking about.

Everything I wrote yesterday could have been summed up by simply stating I was afraid to be alone. I guess the deeper lesson I learned from my female forebears is that no matter how bad it is, it's better to be with someone than to be by yourself, to be dependent instead of independent.

So. Not. True.

But … it took me four husbands and 60 years to figure it out. I started figuring it out 20 years ago when I ditched the last husband. I was single for several years before I began dating my current husband. We didn't marry until five years ago, although we'd lived together for a decade prior to the wedding.

We've had many ups and downs, as most couples do, both before and after making it legal. In all those downs, I was the one who was ready to leave. I have no place to go. I have no job. I have no resources. I'd be up a creek without a paddle if I had to figure it out all over again, especially at my age and in this economy. But I was never afraid to try.

And, while I'm not going anywhere and we're very happy together (and we tell each other we are almost daily), I would still tackle a life alone without fear.

I have AA to thank for that, and Denise to thank for reminding me of it.


Stacie Tamaki said...

Hello! I found you through NaBloPoMo. Thank you for this post. You've inspiring me to write a similar one.

I'm glad you were able to overcome your fear. It's not easy to do. I've found that the feeling of fear and dread is almost always worse than the thing we are fearful of. I hope you don't mind me leaving my favorite quote here for you. It ties directly into the concept of fear, how it limits us if we empower it and can help to overcome it.

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail"

- Dr. Robert Schuller

denise said...

You're welcome! :-)

I like the quote and seeing your further commentary also lets me see that fear does seem to be a common denominator in many of our regrets.

Even weight loss can be tied back to it. Sometimes I think when I start to "shape up" that I become afraid of not having the fat to blame things on...if something goes wrong, it's because I'm fat... But what if I'm not fat anymore - then maybe I'm just a bad person, or whatever...

Weighing some heavy life (career really) decisions this week, so all of the discussion is helpful. Wish I could say that I am as fearless as you about breaking free, but I'm not totally there yet. I'm getting closer though, and hoping I can pull it off!

gingerzingi said...

I loved your post from yesterday - your life has been a lot more "interesting" than mine! And I want to write my own comments to my past self, but it's not something I can do off the cuff, need to think about it... there's obvious things like "don't turn left there, it's another block" but the bigger things are harder.

stacie tamaki said...

Hi Debbi,

Just wanted to let you know I published the post your post inspired and linked back to it to send you some new readers: