My five year old granddaughter deals with anxiety and fears, and will go through episodes of when she’s trying to control a particular fear. I will catch myself taking her inventory, questioning why she would try to control the fear in the way she is choosing. It seems like a waste of time and energy doing what she’s doing.

My ego tends to forget I had an insane way of dealing with my fears as far back as I can remember. I dealt with fear and anxiety by eating food nonstop. It was so easy. I could eat because nobody ever tried stopping me. Food tasted good. I felt better for a moment or so. Although sometimes I ate too much at one time and then my tummy aches were horrific. I learned to graze so the fears were stuffed and I could continue to eat without feeling miserable, or so I thought. I continued this sick, twisted ritual for well over 50 years. I was so uncomfortable with the excess weight and doing any physical activity was exhausting.

I kept in denial about my morbidly obese size. I isolated so people couldn’t hurt me with their comments, stares, hushed tones talking to others about me right in front of me. I didn’t want to be seen as a failure, but I sure felt like one.

My husband and children got the wrath of my anger. They knew to stay out of my way. They all heard me tell them I love them, but my actions were just the opposite. I had no love for myself. It was hard to love others the way they deserved to be treated. At that time, I could see no other way to deal with life, except through excess food consumption. With each passing year, my fears were exacerbated, my shame and guilt whirled like a cyclone within me. It was not a fun, joyful life.

Today I’m grateful for the 12 step recovery program. I still have fears, and possibly always will. Today I know better how to cope and deal with my fears. I can’t control my feelings, but I can control my actions. In the 12 step recovery program I found out it was a we program and for that I am very grateful. I learned to be with others and feel acceptance, not judgment. I felt safe and secure with others that understood me. I learned to trust others and myself. I found a loving sponsor that shares what works for her. I have a HP to trust and rely on. My HP hears my prayers asking for God to direct my thinking, to guide me to the next right step, to show me what I need today, to be of service to others.

My fears desire to control me, but that is not helpful to me today. My fears are not my reality. My fears are not rational. My fears are not true. My fears rob me of my joy, and that is not what my Higher Power wants for me today. My fears will pass if I do the necessary work.

My sponsor has me write my fears out on paper when I become aware I’m holding onto a fear.
I am afraid of:
1. We ask ourselves why we had them?
2. How did self reliance help?
3. How could trust and relying on God help?

Praying: Please, dear God, I ask You to remove my fears and direct my attention to what You would have me be.
Sue, Recovering COE