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A Few Simple Truths In Recovery: Fear Is the Only Thing That Stands In the Way Of Freedom. And I Know How To Fix It…


September 2020

Trigger (heh) warning:  Warning!!!  Reading this post may be uncomfortable, but doing so could lead to your ultimate happiness and freedom from whatever is binding you.  This would mean you’re no longer bound by the chains of fear, hate and anger… which would mean you could actually be happy.  Jesus, we wouldn’t want that, now would we?  Read on at your risk.  You have been trigger (heh) warned.

One of my best friend’s stepdaughter passed away in her sleep the other day.  She was several years younger than I am and the literal definition of “crack whore”.  She led a life that would utterly disgust normal folk.

I wasn’t much better when I was using, but that was a LONG time ago.

Now, here’s where this becomes a important:  If you’re having a hard time “getting” recovery (as she did, she had EVERY opportunity but chose “crack whore”), the reason tends to be quite simple. Oh, we can confuse things for ourselves if we wish, but in the end, the hurdles boil down to fear. The real fear is in the unknown – and I’m not necessarily referring to the unknown of what will happen next if we keep using/drinking.  We pretty much know that’ll suck.  I don’t mean to belittle this fear, just to define it so one might let it go because holding onto this fear is the ultimate roadblock to one’s freedom from the disease.

What we fear in recovery often boils down to a lack of understanding.  I struggled with a couple of “steps” because I had no idea what the other side of doing them would look like.  I allowed my fear of working through the difficult nature of those steps get in the way of my progress to a point I had a choice:  drink again, or do the steps.  I didn’t drink.  I did the work and on completing it, the feeling of freedom and relief was unbelievable.  After all of that struggling, I was finally free of the chains of my addiction.  If I’d known I’d feel that good, I never would have hesitated to work through those steps – I’d have jumped at the opportunity.  Fear of the unknown held me back from freedom.

That set off a string of victories in recovery that I’m still enjoying 26 years later.

What work is standing in the way of your recovery and/or happiness?  This doesn’t just pertain to recovery – normal everyday folk can benefit just the same, just drop the problems associated with drinking more than the normal dozen people put together…

As you might imagine, that one experience changed my outlook on life, considerably – and should you have a similar experience, you should expect something similar – what do you think happens when I bump into something that I know will be good for me to do, but I’m fearful of doing it?

That’s right, I jump at the opportunity because freedom and happiness wait on the other side.  And now you know why that string of victories has been going on for 26 years.

It’s simple as that.  Damn, it’s hard, though.


  1. Sue Slaght says:

    That’s very enlightening Jim. I guess sometimes the rut in the mud is more comfortable because one know’s the rut. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s stepdaughter. Sad that she was not able to take the steps needed.

  2. Fear, hate, and anger make a deadly cocktail. Sorry to hear about your friend‘s stepdaughter losing her battle. But for the grace of God…
    Good reminder. Excellent post.

  3. joliesattic says:

    I always love these posts!

  4. RecoveryWise says:

    Well, two things: I disliked your calling another addict “crack whore”. Secondly, I don’t feel that people fail to embrace recovery for a lack of understanding. I believe it is a number of things: fear, denial, apprehension, resistance to change. However, were I to choose one thing, it would be denial of the fact that you are powerless over ________fill in the blank. Just a few thoughts your post generated in my head.

    • bgddyjim says:

      She whored herself out for crack. That’s why I said she was the very definition. I didn’t say it was a lack of understanding, I wrote it boils down to fear, so we are in agreeable on that one (your list, taken to its base roots, is all fear in one form or another). Perhaps I will go back and amend the post, though, because I may not have broken down my root thought for the post… this post is for the person who is beyond the first two steps. This post is for those who struggle to embrace recovery, or fight it. We’re beyond the powerless part for this post. I appreciate your comment and input, though. Sincerely and immensely.

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