View Full Version : Fear and Anxiety.

October 9th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Hello everyone:

I have not posted anything in the past few days, as I have been in a
"regrouping" mode. The inner ear infection had me laid out horizontal for a few days as well, and a full course of steroids and antibiotics, along with some strong anti-nausea meds left me in a sleep most of the day condition.

Friday night came and went, and since I was nauseous and disoriented, I don't believe the thought of a drink
entered my mind even once. It got me thinking about a few things, about just why my "time" to drink was
connected so strongly to certain times, places, and conditions.

One thing rose to the surface this time. Probably a common element among many here. It's also something that I've tried to deal with in the past, but it seems to be a real concrete block of an issue, and has resisted
repeated attempts at resolution.

That thing is, "Why the hell am I in an almost constant state of anxiety, dread, forboding?" In short, why am
I in a constant state of fear? I feel it all the time. I have found two things that seem to discharge it. One is alcohol. Alcohol is famous for alleviating fear and anxiety. Liquid courage as it were. What was impossible in a sober state, is done with the greatest of ease when drinking. Unfortunately, the alcohol also renders me stupid, and a normal healthy fear of doing something dangerous also seems to be nullified to an extent as well.

The other thing that seems to alleviate fear and anxiety, in my case, is hard exercise. I have written things, some here as well, in the state of mind after a vigorous workout, and it is clear that fears and anxiety are discharged.

So in a nutshell, here is the situation.

1. I'm fearful and anxious a lot of the time.
2. Alcohol makes me feel not fearful and anxious.
3. Exercise makes me feel not fearful and anxious.

Corollaries to the above points.

1. The fear and anxiety are an emotional state of pain.
2. I can't stay drunk all the time. (tried it once, no good)
3. I can't exercise all the time.(self-evident)

Conclusion: I have to find out just why I'm so fearful all the time, and find some way of conquering or eliminating my neurotic fears as a natural state of being.

Yes, neurotic. I see it in myself upon deep examination of the self. I am afraid of losing my job. I am afraid of losing my health. I am afraid my life is meaningless. I am afraid of losing my loved ones. I am afraid of being afraid. So on and so forth.

I can see a lot of misery in our society as a whole, due to fear and anxiety. Look at the headlines of even
todays news. Massive fear and anxiety. It is propagated massively, and it sells big. I would say that fear
and anxiety sells better than sex.

Bosses use fear and anxiety to control us. Insurance companies, governments, all use fear and anxiety to
control how much we spend. And, dare I say it, religion uses fear and anxiety to control our thinking as well.

A whole lot of people using fear and anxiety to keep us in line it seems. The law uses fear of punishment to
control our behaviors. So many thngs geared to the induction of fear, and the resulting anxiety. Some things we can control, and some things we cannot. One thing, I found is that I can control fear of certain things. Like, I am not afraid that a gigantic asteroid is going to smash me while I write this, even though it's possible. That's where I can start.

Without going into a long novel, I had a bit of progress over the last few days. It was a further healing I
think. It was a realization that perhaps the key to dealing with my fears was just letting go of them a bit.
Let go of my fears. Five simple words. Five simple words, that will no doubt take years to realize. I can
begin I think.

What things are YOU so afraid of, and does the alcohol really let YOU, let them go??

Be not afraid.


October 9th, 2006, 12:07 PM

YOu hit the nail on the head when you said "Let go." If you can get a therapist to help you do that, that is wonderful. I started that way. He said. "Let go, follow your feelings and see what happens." I did and guess what? Nothing happened. It was fear of fear. then I was able to do that by myself. Try it. It's great when you realize that when you let out those feelings, you just feel better and learn that you are safe.

Good luck


October 9th, 2006, 12:14 PM

I am still getting over a bacterial sinus infection but you sound like you really got a bad infection. Getting these infections are all connected to our abusing ourselves. I get sinus infections all the time and everytime the Doc asked if I drank my stock answer was no, maybe once in awhile socially - ha. Hope you get feeling better.

You always bring up good thoughts and can put them together so well, I'm a bit scattered so bare with me.

I'm scared and anxious all of the time and am trying to understand my anxiety. On the outside I appear to be very confident. I don't know where the fear fits in but it's there all of the time. Drinking numbs me and I can let go for a few hours I used to think it made me creative too, but I'm learning to be creative without it.

I am afraid of feeling too good and powerful, don't know why. Maybe I'm afraid I won't measure up to what I think I can be.
I'm afraid I don't like myself.
I'm afraid of not being fun.
I'm afraid for my 32 year old Son and my Grandaughter's future.
I'm afraid of being a burden.
I'm afraid of losing my mind, there are so many things I can't recall, and it's a good thing I take pictures.
I'm afraid of how we the United States will fix how the World views us.
I'm worried about the Oceans and our food sources, elephants, whales, this goes on and on...

When I turned 50 it felt good because I had so many things behind me but also realized that many dreams may not be possible. I used to dream quite a bit of what I could do or be when drunk.

However there are so many good things too, I'm not afraid of loving, caring, laughing, crying, learning, looking like a jackass, and this goes on and on.

I look at it this way, it took me 25 years of hard work at staying numb and it might take the rest of my life to learn to love life the way I should. Even as say that I'm trying to not be afraid...

Go forth and conquer,

October 9th, 2006, 12:58 PM

I suffered with extreme bouts of anxiety--panic attacks and the whole bit. I would worry endlessly about what if this or that. I would play out every single awful thing that possibly could occur. And you know what--90% of the bads ones just never happened. When I do start to worry about something I use the "Serenity Prayer". It reminds me there are things I can't control--so why worry about them. The things that I can control I pray for the courage to change them. Changing the things I can sometimes takes courage--because even if they make sense--change can be scary and full of what ifs. Now I am realizing that it is actually worse if I don't make the needed changes. And then there is the wisdom to know what I can change and what I can't. Also, realizing that there is much I can't control--saved me from worrying about it.

October 9th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Well put Neil.

I"m back from a camping jaunt - a huge adventure. First day was fine, then at night a huge wind came in.. nearly lost the tent.. kids worried, no sleep.. a real feel of nature and her power. when you cant sleep and you are trying to keep others calm and you are still in your own journey of fear I did a strange thing I've never done before... I lay there and as I heard the wind come bursting in (it was HUGE WIND - trees falling etc etc) I just said the word to myself 'trust'. It was like I have to trust that I am where I"m meant to be and whatever will be I can deal with and if its my time to go then thats what I have to allow also. Its like I must stop fighting all the time, which I think has a link to what you are saying Neil. I think the fear comes in as we try to fight it.

For me, trust is a hard one. I'm not religious and I have a sort of self sufficient bent so the only person I can rely on is me .. and I've let myself down hard at times too.. so I've made trust harder for myself. Anyway, I do have a spiritual side and nature is a good outlet for it.. and the notion of trust in that night of fear didnt worry me so I'm going to go with it a bit more. Once I allowed myself to trust that night I was no longer scared and all the children calmed down.. they sensed it in me.

Now.. like Mike's pink cloud.. I need to get a good handle on this so I can hold onto it!!!!! I like feeling good and safe.. but I know that we need to be able to handle when we dont feel good.. cos thats where the problem is for us... which is why our strategies need to be water tight... and we need others to keep us on task.


October 9th, 2006, 06:53 PM

I am reminded of a journey I took to Lake Powell several years ago, when you mentioned camping.

I was on a boat, by myself, loaded with camping gear. I had explored a lot of the canyons, and lost track of time. Soon it began to get dark, and I was far from the marinas. Lake Powell is very big.

I began searching for a camping spot, but all the places were taken by houseboats, and I wanted a little seclusion. Time was running out fast, and it would be dark.

I finally found a little island of sandstone off in one side canyon. It was created by rocks falling from a overhanging sandstone cliff several hundred feet over my head. The island was just big enough for me to pitch a tent, and moor the boat good. I didn't sleep much that night, as that overhang above my head had fractured sandstone up high. A rock the size of a house could have fallen off any time, so I just had to have faith that I would be all right.

The kind of fears I think I am talking about here, are the ones that have deep roots, back to my childhood. All those little emotional traumas that result in a fit of wailing distress, that we see the little ones endure. It may be small to us, but it's big to them. Those things pile up in ones psyche, and we develop ways of dealing with the traumas. Then one day, we discover the booze. Instant relief!! Pretty potent juice.

Then, one day, we decide that the booze is really not doing us any good after all, like I did. Those unresolved traumas are still there, buried deep. I used the booze to obliterate their effect, because it was cheap, easy, and quick.

Now at 50 years old myself, the little Neil who never figured out how to deal with it without the booze, is rising to the surface. It's because I am both letting him, and encouraging him to speak to me, the adult sober Neil. I post this in long term, because here I am at almost 10 months now, and still these things are slowly manifesting themselves. Little Neil is a bit amazed, at all the stuff adult sober Neil has waiting for him, that he has worked on so long to prepare for the little guy.

The child inside of you may still be scared shitless. I read it in so many posts on this forum. Love that child I say. Love him, or her, with everything you have to offer and give. Love that child as you would one that you created from yourself.

It's the least one can do for themselves I would think. In my case, totally necessary to continue on with this journey with any real hope for the future.


October 9th, 2006, 10:34 PM
I have dealt with an anxiety disorder for most of my adult life, which -- interestingly -- coincides with my drinking career. Cause and effect I am not sure of. It's a bit of the chicken and the egg, I'm afraid. I drank to self-medicate, but the drinking ultimately made the anxiety worse.

I don't recall being scared of much as a child, except perhaps my father. And I suspect that there are some wounds way back there in my childhood that are at the root of these fears.

I have, through years of therapy and medication, learned to "manage" my fear. But it's still there. I can feel it gnawing away, churning in my gut. And loving myself -- that inner child -- well, that is indeed a necessary part of my recovery.

Some years back I went to a retreat. A very spiritual touchy-feely kind of thing. Since then I have carried a photo of myself at 6 years old in my wallet. I do this so that I can take it out and look at myself -- my true self -- every once in a while. I try and look at that face when I have a hard time making a decision and think -- "be true to him."

I obviously haven't been true to him, through the years of drinking. But maybe I'm making a start now.

October 9th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Being True to Oneself

Although not a member of the long term abstainers, I often come here to read your posts and find inspiration. It is truly inspiring to read your posts and hear how deeply you give of yourselves here.

All my best...

October 10th, 2006, 01:19 AM
Hey Kathy -- great to see you over here -- and you're welcome to post any time!


October 10th, 2006, 08:36 PM
the great fears

The ones so deeply rooted came back to haunt me today. I can relate to them being intangible and being created somewhere in my childhood. I had one of my reoccurring nightmares that I am alone and trying to get back with an ex boyfriend. One that is a complete loser and I spent 5 years with before meeting my husband 12 years ago. I always wake up--look around and think "Oh Thank God that wasn't really happening". I then woke up feeling all over anxious and almost called in sick. I was full of dread today. Feeling inadequate as an employee, mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister--just full of anxiety and yuk.

These deep rooted things get buried and then rear their ugly head. I don't have a solution--I do know that drinking will not make me feel better--not do I even care for one. I think now I realize drinking was the cause that allowed these things to live and prosper inside of me.

Still however, a pink cloud day. Much better than being drunk--and could you imagine how crappy tomorrow would be if I actually tried to numb all those feelings away?

October 13th, 2006, 08:40 AM
I think my biggest fear is of death taking me or someone I love. My kid brother, dad and mom have died in the last three years, and I'm afraid of losing anyone else. Sometimes life feels like a cycle of losses.

Second biggest fear is looking like a fool. :H I can say with certainty that alcohol has not helped alleviate that fear but almost guarantees that I will experience it.

I don't know what I'm doing with my life. Half the time what I most want in the world is my ex-husband back. He'd be happy to be back, but we're poison for each other. I'm afraid that I am wasting time in school, but I'm so close to a degree that it would be stupid to stop now. I'm 46 and don't know what I want to do, who I want to be with, etc. I feel lost.

One of the people I read a lot is Pema Chodron and she talks about how we bounce between hope and fear. She suggests we abandon them both and stay in the moment. Meditating has helped in that it helps me see thoughts as just what they are - formless, transient and unimportant. That's way different for me as I'm used to assigning the greatest importance to whatever I think or feel. I'm not very good at it yet but I'm practicing. :)

Alcohol does temporarily help alleviate emotional pain for me, but then there's always the pay back.