Self-centered Fear

I stood outside the meeting room waiting for the meeting to start. I hadn’t had a drink for 90 days. Charlie looked at me and exclaimed so everyone could hear, “what did you do to your body?!” I gained 20 pounds in three months by gorging on cookies, sweets and other snacks. My body craves the sugar I used to get from booze, but sugar isn’t the real problem. Self-centered fear is.

I drank at self-centered fear for thirty years trying to get comfortable in my own skin. This same fear lurks behind everyone of my so-called sins -- greed, pride, envy and my all time personal favorite, sloth. Willpower and self-discipline don’t work for me. Sooner or later the termites of fear gnaw away the foundations of my best intentions and I’m right back to where I started. I’ve lost 100 pounds in the last 15 years -- the same 10 pounds 10 times.

A few years ago I realized as long as fear was driving, I had to sit in the backseat. I had to go where fear took me. The fear took away my ability to choose. I had to drink, I had to lie, I had to cheat, I had to stuff cookies in my mouth. Once I realized I had no choice but to do what I did, I began to let myself off the hook.

Confronting these fears seems to be part of my spiritual journey. The Twelve Steps dissolve my self-centered fear by bringing my old ideas into the light of forgiveness. As the fear dissolves, my ability to make healthier choices returns.