From the July 2010 magazine.

UNREASONABLE FEARS

FEAR was my constant companion when I was still drinking. I had panic attacks. I couldn't deal with stress. I was afraid to live--and I couldn't master suicide. The fear was so great at one point that I took off work for a month. I couldn't function, and I was still drinking to try to control the fear.

When I got sober I was still very afraid. However, as I worked the Steps, I found the fear dissipating. It wasn't totally gone, but I could function. My sponsor suggested I do a fear inventory. I would concentrate on that part of my illness that was still bothering me. This was great. It was OK to write down that I was afraid of spiders and couldn't even get close enough to one to kill it. I had lived in California all my life but was getting really panicky that an earthquake might hit.

-- JEANNE L.

Brea, Calif.

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