Missing Out on Life
I used to think I wasn’t afraid of death. But yesterday I found out I am. I’m afraid to die. I’m afraid it will hurt, I’m afraid of what comes after it, and mostly I’m afraid of missing out on life – this life in particular. I know this seems like a morbid start, but I actually believe I have a very powerful time of growth coming up for me, if I’m not in the middle of it already. I think I’m about to do a lot of growing up.
In my drinking and using, like most all alcoholics and addicts, I had little, if any, regard for my health, safety or my life in general. I risked my well-being and others’ lives almost every time I went out, whether it was by driving drunk or consuming enough to overdose, among many other dangerous actions. I didn’t think of the consequences. All that mattered was getting high and getting out of my skin so I didn’t have to feel fear or sadness or anger anymore. The thought of dying was actually more of a relief than anything. I’ve heard other people share this sentiment in meetings many times.
But now my life matters. I’m sober; I’m in recovery. I have a sense of purpose and belonging that I never thought possible. I rarely do things anymore that risk my life or the lives of others. I consider myself to be a reasonable and responsible person. But I do still make mistakes, and right now I’m right in the middle of facing the consequences of one. Like I said before, I’m scared.
But like everything in my life now, I have to give it all to my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God. Everything that’s going to happen over the next couple of weeks is God’s will. All I can do is stay open to hearing what God wants me to do, and then do that to the best of my ability. If I’ve learning anything over my time being sober, it’s that sometimes the worst things can turn out to be the best lessons.
So, if you’re feeling scared of the future, or even of the present, know that you’re not alone. What you’re going through, most likely someone else has gone through it before you and it’s all okay. This too shall pass, and our Higher Power knows that we are all just doing our best as humans on earth.
When I’m having trouble making a big decision or I’m totally consumed with fear, there are a few things that I always fall back on. I’ve written about them before, but they’re so important I think they deserve being repeated.
- I really recommend finding someone you can trust; maybe it’s your Sponsor or someone very close to you, and talk to them about what’s going on. I have about three women and one guy that I talk to about my most personal problems; things that I don’t think would be good to necessarily share at a meeting.
- Meditate for five to thirty minutes each morning and at night before you go to bed. Starting that practice has changed my life over the past three years and helped to greatly reduce anxiety and cravings.
- Pray often. I try to remember to check in with my Higher Power once per hour if not more. To make sure I meet the minimum, I have an alarm set so my phone buzzes or rings every hour with the heading PRAYER on the screen.
And, finally, keep this quote in mind.