[Originally published in Essay in February, 2019]

G-d handles what we cannot

I would like to share how the program has given me the gift of lowering the volume of my fears. I cannot say that they are totally gone, but today I can live with them. I used to wake up in the morning with a feeling of dread when facing the day. The day scared me: the responsibilities, the fear of disappointing, the fear of surprises. When the night would arrive I would start calming down. I would push off bedtime because I knew that once I fell asleep, I would wake up and the whole process will begin again. Before the program, porn and masturbation would help me cope with this. Once I gave that up, I felt every bit of fear and it was killing me. Today it doesn’t.
I am so grateful to the program for teaching me how to bring in my Higher Power, whom I call G-d. When doing Step 4 with my sponsor, I didn’t have a very long list of resentments. Now came the time to put down my fear list. I started writing. I stopped when I reached number 57.
My sponsor told me that a fear is either not getting something I want, or losing something I have. I definitely saw how these fears were a constant in my life and how they dictated my every move. These fears were caused by self reliance failing me. I then wrote down what this fear would look like if I relied on G-d. Well, obviously I would be a lot calmer as my Higher Power could do a much better job than I could. Intellectually I understood this. I said the prayer asking G-d to remove my fears and direct my attention to what He would have me be, and then focus on the next right action.
I did the actions. I meant them. I would feel slight relief, but the fear would come back very strong. There was one particular week which had a lot of projects, deadlines and complicated tasks. Then came a morning where the dread was too difficult to bear. I didn’t know what to do. The problems at work were resolved but I was still left with the anxiety. I called and shared. A program member suggested I see a doctor and take medication to calm myself. That scared me. I put on an audio book of the Alcoholics Anonymous in the personal stories section. The story was not one I was familiar with. It was called The Fearful One. (I had the 1st edition. I did a bit of research afterwards and found out the title was updated and reprinted in the later editions under the title “The Man Who Mastered Fear.”) He wrote:
Suddenly in this maelstrom I grasped at a straw. Maybe God would help me-just maybe, mind you. I was willing to give Him a chance, but with considerable doubt. I got down on my knees-something I hadn’t done in thirty years. I asked Him if He would let me hand over all these fears and this panic to Him. I lay down on the bed and went to sleep like a baby (AA 334).
I was now desperate. I couldn’t live with this fear any more. I got down on my knees (something I also didn’t really do until then) and told G-d that I couldn’t live like this anymore. It was too difficult. I was powerless over my fears and I needed His help. I will tell you that the rest of the day was calm. The next day started with dread and I prayed again on my knees, giving my fear to G-d. It took some time but I started feeling better. Today, I scarcely have the dread in the morning. On the occasion that I do, I go down on my knees and ask G-d to remove my fears.
A friend in the program gave a very good analogy of receiving letter post that isn’t addressed to me. That is what I do with my thoughts when these fears and worries come to me during the day. Most are “posts” that are not addressed to me. They are addressed to G-d. He can deal with them, I cannot. I am no longer my Higher Power.
I am managing to go through the day with a lot more freedom. I am learning to live with a day that wasn’t how I planned it that morning. I am learning to trust my Higher Power thanks to SA.           Dovi S