Ever since I can remember, I have had fear. Fear of people not liking me, fear of letting people down, fear of sports, fear of talking to women, fear of failure. Fear held me back from a lot of experiences that people have in their adolescent years.
I found myself a lot of times retreating to my room with my computer. That was where I could be alone without worry of what people may think of me. The distraction of video games could shut off the constant flow of insecurities and fear that were so loud in my head. Finally, a desire to fit in brought me to smoking weed for the first time. While high, that fear fell to the background and I felt at ease which I felt like I hadn’t had in years. A similar effect happened with alcohol, but now I was able to talk to women and people laughed with me. I felt cool. One thing led to another as the classic alcoholic story tends to go. Getting high and drunk became a more and more frequent thing. Weed and alcohol became pills which became heroin. The relief that I sought became more and more difficult to achieve. Finally, I was brought to a place in my disease, that the consequences were too much and I wanted something different.
I was sent to rehab and then to New Life House. I had a few days sober and clean from the drugs that I was doing, and physically, I had begun to feel better. But the thing I was avoiding all those years came right back. The loud chatter in my head, the worry, and the fear was back with a vengeance. Even surrounded around men that could completely empathize and understand what was happening to me. I asked a young man to sponsor me and we started to go through the steps. I was introduced to the idea of a high power. I began praying everyday even though I was unsure of what or who would be listening. I was told that I could find relief through a relationship with a higher power. What that looked liked to me was “contrary action.” Doing things that were suggested to me, which were not the actions I necessarily wanted to take.
My solution in the past was always getting high or running away to my bedroom. I was told that I should open up and get vulnerable to my peers. I was told to help someone else whatever way I could. Soon enough, I was so distracted with these “program” actions that I didn’t have time to think about “why I’m not like you” or “what’s wrong with me?” My self esteem began to rise because I was taking estimable acts. The fears were still there, but I found it easier and easier to not listen to them through this new found relationship with something greater than me. Since that first spiritual experience and seeing how my fears can be lifted through actions and prayer, I have started to experience life again. I got a job, started supporting myself financially, moved out of the recovery house and have gone back to school. All things that I was too scared to do sober, before I found this spiritual solution. I know that many more fears will arise in the future, but I choose to see them as opportunities. Opportunities to grow and further build the faith that I have in my higher power.
-Cory N., New Life House Graduate