by Michael W

Addressing fears is like doing the dishes. There will always be dishes, and we just keep doing them (doing the work).

 Alcoholics like me, are always in fear. Although most times it is “False Evidence Appearing Real. ” Sometimes fear is real. Fear can also become as cunning and baffling as alcohol. Whereas I’m unaware of the fear which can be insidiously chipping away at my serenity and acceptance. We must do the work and give away our fears to a Higher Power (HP). 

I could no longer see literally, but I could see more clearly

A few years into my early recovery, I was diagnosed with a genetic corneal disease called, keratoconus, to which my condition was one of the most advanced the eye surgeons had ever seen. Multiple corneal transplants would be mandatory and even those procedures would have limited effectiveness. At 5 years sober I was legally blind; I could only see blotches of colors, no form. 

Fast forward through multiple transplants and stitches in my eyes, I was able to stay sober, work and could see reasonably well for over 15 years in recovery. I could even drive a car and easily fly around the world for work.  As time passed, I noticed a gradual shift whereas I couldn’t focus easily and required hundreds of eye drops a day due to severe dry-eye from the multiple transplants. Ironically, I was also chasing some of my defects of character in a workaholic-type pace, but still very much inside of AA service and meetings. The fear gripped me that I’m going blind again, but I gave all this fear to my HP. And what about the new ego-car in the driveway? I couldn’t drive it! Oh the irony and sense of humor from my HP. 

I have my wonderful family and an awesome life in sobriety

Too much fear is not an option for this alcoholic

Living in fear is optional. It’s a choice we must work in Steps 1-3 and action steps 6-7. Too much fear is not an option for this alcoholic. To those afflicted with my condition, I’ve often stated, “There are much, much worse diseases. We will be ok.” Today I’m walking and running to work, healthier than I’ve ever been. Although I cannot legally drive a car, I’m able to work just fine. I use very large fonts and technology keeps improving. One day there might even be synthetic corneas which will cure this disease for millions of people. The 12 steps remove the fear, because after all, if I were drinking, using, and in self-pity, I’d have no life. Instead, AA gave me back my wonderful family and an awesome life in sobriety. 

I was told in the beginning AA was a simple program for complicated people. It helped to go to meetings, work the steps, get a sponsor and be of service. I’ve followed these simple suggestions to the best of my ability. They’ve helped keep me sober, one day at a time, these past 21 years.

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