Fear and Shame - SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information
Go Back   SoberRecovery : Alcoholism Drug Addiction Help and Information >
Register Blogs FAQ Members List Calendar Arcade Mark Forums Read





Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2009, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
aka Glenna :)
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 280

Fear and Shame


I am struggling with both and can't let go. I have been in tears all morning; it is hurting so bad. I went to a 3rd Step meeting last night and was so envious hearing the stories about people that have done it.

I pray for the strength to turn them over, but they are weighing me down. I just don't know how to do it. I know I am still learning and have a long way to go. I just need some relief right now if I am to stay on the right path. I say my signature line below when I pray, but I am not relieved.

Why am I holding on to this garbage that does not serve me?
__________________
Never separate the life you life from the words you speak.~~~Paul Wellstone
Cath1029 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
KenL's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,385
Blog Entries: 26
The Serenity prayer is also a good thing to say to yourself. I hope the shame and fear go away soon. I know the feeling. It's hard. But it's good that you're here posting so that you can get some support.
KenL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,095
So, Cath, you've made a decision, but have you finished that 4th Step and 5th Stepped it? Action and more action. Faith without works is dead. Blah blah blah.

It was essential for me to get some relief pretty quickly from that fear and shame when I got sober. It was killing me. And while those two steps (and the 9th) were uncomfortable at times, they were necessary for me. I couldn't wish away or pray away that fear and shame and all the other negative feelings.

To this day, I still don't understand what people mean with that turn it over business. I had to turn over my life and my will, not my things or feelings. And I do that action of turning it over by writing an inventory and setting things right, not by wishing.
keithj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
member
 
Mattcake's Avatar
 

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,433
Blog Entries: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cath1029 View Post
Why am I holding on to this garbage that does not serve me?

Fear and shame are feelings that are usually *very* deeply ingrained. It does take time. I'm not an AAer, but it's my understanding that the fellowship does help in this area - so, like you said and with this being the path you chose, maybe it's a matter of perseverance... People who are familiar with AA will probably offer you better advice.

Personally, therapy helped me overcome most of my shame - not all of it, but some of it. I'm currently using CBT, along with spiritual practice, to work on both issues.

I'm sorry you're suffering so much I hope you find the answers you need to reach lasting peace and serenity.
__________________
If it's a question of faith: Do you love or do you hate?
"Counting days is for prisoners" - Scott
Mattcake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
aka Glenna :)
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Jupiter, Florida
Posts: 280
I am working, but am not even on my 4th Step yet. All of these negative feelings are blocking me from sitting down and doing the reading and writing I need to do to get there. My sponsor said to stop beating myself up, but it is hard sometimes.
__________________
Never separate the life you life from the words you speak.~~~Paul Wellstone
Cath1029 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: scotland
Posts: 1,493
cath,like keith said action,fear will get worse if you let it,you have to override it,or it will eat you up.get the 4th done,what are you waiting for? i had fears,but i was more afraid of not getting well,i was desperate, on my knees and willing to go to any lengths.i wondered with every step why it wasnt happening yet,,but lo and behold when i got to the next one it was seeping in,,you can have it too,but you have to work for it,,that inventory will not write itself,,,ACTION,,NOW,,DO IT,,,,,IM RIGHT BEHIND YOU WILLING YOU ON!,,,,pray for willingness,,,let us know how you get on with your inventory.
Charmie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 10:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie View Post
i wondered with every step why it wasnt happening yet,,but lo and behold when i got to the next one it was seeping in.
Yeah, that's it! It's the sleeper, sneak up on you spiritual awakening that one day will find you on your knees weeping with gratitude, snot running down your face, laughing at the overwhelming enormity and joy of it all. And then you can't help but give it all away because you're so damn happy about this gift you've been given.

Er, at least that's what happens with some people. So I hear.

Cath, I was instructed to make a little progress every day on that 4th step. Even if it's just writing down a single resentment. Some days I couldn't manage even that, and some days that little bit would turn into a flurry of writing. But it kept me focused and willing every day.

As far as getting there, it generally only takes a newcomer a couple weeks to get through the first 3 steps with me. No set time tables, but if it's taking way longer than that, we usually revist some of the basics in the first 3 chapters. It's only 63 pages plus a few in Dr.'s Opinion.
keithj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 11:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: scotland
Posts: 1,493
keith,there is many a time when i am blubbing when i say my thanks,in the middle of the street,cleaning showers at the guest house with an old toothbrush! and the first time i read the step nine promises,,well,,,anyway,cath,this is all there waiting for you,,,its up to you.i didnt want to do my 4th step,my sponsor wrote one sheet for me,whilst showing me what to do,left me with it and said i will see you next week,,,i thought,well ive spent 2 hours with her i will start tommorow,,then i thought no you wont,thats what you want to do,,get bloody writing,so i did,didnt take too long after that,about the same amount of time that several rounds in the boozer would have taken.with a few additions between meeting her again that i remembered as the ink flowed,,,,
Charmie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
jamdls's Avatar
 

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 2,405
Blog Entries: 2
Be patient, in most cases as in my own, the things I did/said that caused me the fear and shame occurred over a long period of time and it takes a long time to let go and forgive yourself. I barely left my home for the first year of sobriety-I went to work and I went home, I was practically afraid of my own shadow and filled with immense shame;gradually I began to forgive myself and make amends where I could it takes time, determination, and faith even if that faith is only in yourself.
__________________
~~~Judy~~~

"Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up"

"With God all things are possible"
jamdls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 02:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 177,496
Blog Entries: 1
Hi Cath

I know for me fear and shame were very deeply ingrained in me, long before I took my first drink.

I tied myself up in knots with this in early recovery too.

In the end, I decided that focusing on the past (shame) or the future (fear) wasn't doing me any favours at all.

The only thing I can really have any effect on is today, so I resolved to make my todays really count.

I figured the good I'd do (or try to do) today for myself and others would act against the shame I felt for my past and help diminish the fear I had for the future.

It's working for me. It didn't happen overnight, and it's still happening in fact - but I've been able to get to a place where fear and shame no longer loom large, and I'm grateful for that.

This one day at a time thing works for so many things Cath

D
__________________
Dee74 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 02:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
chrisinaustin's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cath1029 View Post
I am working, but am not even on my 4th Step yet. All of these negative feelings are blocking me from sitting down and doing the reading and writing I need to do to get there. My sponsor said to stop beating myself up, but it is hard sometimes.
Negative feelings are the meat and potatoes of the fourth step. Write them down now while they're front and center.
chrisinaustin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
Forward we go...side by side-Rest In Peace
 
CarolD's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Serene In Dixie
Posts: 36,741
(((Cath)))
Step 4 immediately followed by Step 5 allowed me
to forgive myself. ..

Before that, the Serenity Prayer gave me comfort.

It takes time ...and I'm sorry you are disturbed.
__________________
Each Day Sober Is A Victory!!
Joy In AA Recovery!

CarolD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Anna's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dancing in the Light
Posts: 51,748
Cath,

You've gotten lots of really good advice here.

I had a terrible struggle with guilt and shame, and I found that journalling really helped me a lot. It was hard to do, to see all the negative stuff written down, but it helped me to let it go.
__________________
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson
Anna is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2009, 06:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
joedris's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 818
Cath, It took me a year to finish my third step. My reasons were different from yours, but the end result was the same. My sponsor at the time helped my plough on by suggesting a few things. First, learn the difference between guilt and shame. There are some good books out there about this and learning the difference lifted a weight from my shoulders. I won't go into the differences here, but you should learn not to be weighed down by stuff you deem to be shameful when it isn't.

Secondly, he recommended that I take a hard look at those things I feared if I could even identify them. This led to a realization that I was suffering from some serious anxiety issues and medication lifted that monkey from my back. Things are tough enough without having to deal with severe anxiety.

And thirdly, he said that I should begin the fourth step. There was no law that I had to completely finish one step in order to begin the next. I was to just do the best I could. Progress not perfection. As several folks have already said, starting the 4th step will help you get over some obstacles you're facing now.
__________________
God, Please set aside all I think I know about myself, my disease, the Big Book, the 12 Steps, the Program, the people in the fellowship, spiritual terms, and especially about you God so I may have an open mind and a new experience with these things. Amen
joedris is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:32 AM.