“FEAR”….It’s In My Recovery, In My Mental Illness, And In My Past Pain Of Childhood Trauma”…

Hello And Welcome Recovery Friends & Seekers,

 

What does fear mean to you?
Do you live with any type of fear?
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How can one word have so many different meanings? Even though FEAR happens to most people if we let it, fear comes in many different forms. Some fear we can control, but there is much about fear that we have no control over. Lets start with just the definition of FEAR:
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fear
fi(ə)r/
noun
noun: fear; plural noun: fears
  1. 1.
    an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
    “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder”
anxiety, worry, angst, unease, uneasiness.
informalthe creeps, the shivers, the willies, the heebie-jeebies, jitteriness, twitchiness, butterflies (in the stomach)
“he felt fear at entering the house”
informalhang-up
“she overcame her fears”
  • archaic
    a mixed feeling of dread and reverence.
    “the love and fear of God”
  • a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.
    “police launched a search for the family amid fears for their safety”
verb
verb: fear; 3rd person present: fears; past tense: feared; past participle: feared; gerund or present participle: fearing
  1. 1.
    be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
    “he said he didn’t care about life so why should he fear death?”
    synonyms: be afraid of, be fearful of, be scared of, be apprehensive of, dread, live in fear of, be terrified of;

    be anxious about, worry about, feel apprehensive about
    “she feared her husband”
    have a phobia about, have a horror of, take fright at
    “he fears heights”
    • feel anxiety or apprehension on behalf of.
      “I fear for the city with this madman let loose in it”
      synonyms: worry about, feel anxious about, feel concerned about, have anxieties about More

      “they feared for his health”
    • used to express regret or apology.
      “I’ll buy her book, though not, I fear, the hardback version”
    • archaic
      regard (God) with reverence and awe.
      synonyms: stand in awe of, revere, reverence, venerate, respect More

      “all who fear the Lord”
Origin
Old English fǣr ‘calamity, danger,’ fǣran ‘frighten,’ also ‘revere.’

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What stands out the most about the word fear is the words, scared, frightened, apprehensive.
See, I have many different types of fear I live and struggle with daily! Some comes from recovery, some come from my mental illness disorders, and even though I have 7yrs from the bet,  from gambling addiction, I still have a couple amends fears I still need to work through.
The biggest at the moment is the one with my own father.
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That’s a whole other blog post. I have guilt about this one amends as I’m now only 4 hours away from where my dad lives, as opposed to when I was still living in So. Oregon, which is an 11 1/2 hour drive. I have to get past the fear of my father turning me away if I was to go down and visit, and try to make an amends with him since it has been 9 years since he has spoken to me, and for a reason I have no clue of. So I guess in the back of my mind I feel that I wasn’t the one who stopped communicating with him, so why should I have to make the amends?

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But as we all know in recovery, we need to be the better person regardless, and I need to at least try. I know that. But knowing and doing are very two different things. The other huge fear I have in the amends department is the one to my Best Friend! I’ll call her Deb. What prompted this whole “Fear Thing” was, yesterday I found out my best friend Deb’s dad passed away on May 8th, last month. My heart fell into my stomach. Deb and her family moved next door to us in So. Calif. when we were 13 years old, her and I. We had done everything together. Sleep overs, school, dating, and more! We were like sisters. This month we actually would have been friends for 37 years! But because of my addiction, we became estranged. She went into AA, and I was still gambling my Ass Off! I didn’t try, or reach out for recovery from addicted gambling and alcohol abuse until a year and half later.
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But within that year and a half I had done some pretty bad things to her, again, another whole future blog post. But with her going to AA, I thought, “well she would understand some day how stupid I was within my addiction, and that I never meant to hurt her.” We had been friends to long for that. I also thought, “well, she is in AA so she will understand the whole forgive and amends thing right”?  WRONG! She also has the choice to not forgive and not be friends, which is what happened. SO,….. that’s another amends I need to get done. But that stupid, freaking, FEAR keeps holding me back!
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Or am I using it as an excuse because of fear of rejection, of being hurt myself? Then I have the fears that come along with my daily challenges of mental illness on top of the recovery fear challenges, and it all sometimes gets a bit overwhelming for me some days. So I’m currently working on my fears, dissociation, depression, and agoraphobia with panic with my mental health psychiatrist and councilor on life skills to help me through all this. I also was asked by them to journal at the end of each day the “thoughts” I tell myself of why I don’t follow through on the things I want to do outside my home, but my fear from the agoraphobia holds me hostage! I felt like telling my councilor, I don’t have a discussion going on in my head all day, or talk to myself! But he says I’m doing it in my conscience somewhere. What Ever….
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Here is what ‘Agoraphobia fear’ definition:

Breaking down the term agoraphobia gives us its literal definition.
A phobia is an intensely irrational fear. This meaning suggests that agoraphobia is an intense and abnormal fear of open or public places. But, this definition falls short in explaining the true meaning of this condition.
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For the agoraphobic, the fear is not necessarily associated with open spaces. The central feature of agoraphobia is intense fear (panic response) of being in certain situations in which escape is difficult or potentially embarrassing, or where help is not readily available. This may include many places that would not meet the definition of open spaces, including many confined spaces. Such situations may include leaving home alone, being home alone, traveling by car, train or bus, being in an elevator, being in a crowd, being in a large store or mall, being on a bridge or standing in a line.
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The fear associated with agoraphobia results in behavioral changes in order to avoid feared situations. An individual with agoraphobia may survey settings for escape routes and avoid situations where an exit is not easily available. This leads to avoidant behavior that may include only driving on certain roads, always sitting near the door in meeting or school settings, avoiding crowded places, or avoiding any place where it may be difficult to get to an exit. In extreme cases, the fear may become so consuming that the individual will not leave the house alone or becomes homebound altogether.
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Now there is more, but I don’t want to bore you death!…LOL. But the key word we see over and over is FEAR. So, am I doomed to never be a part of life, part of the living, enjoying all the outdoors has to offer me? At this point, I don’t know. I take each day as it comes. I do however, feel the trauma I endured as a child plays a big part in this big nasty mix of things. It definitely made it difficult for me to feel close to my father when I was younger, and into my teens. But I have had worked hard to get through all that, as it was/is part of my recovery work and therapy, what happened to me was not my father’s fault when I was a little girl. And it was not my fault either.
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I also think I had a set back from the quick and traumatic move that happened this pass Sept 2013, from having to make the choice for my hubby’s job to move from SO. Oregon to Glendale, AZ. I really don’t care for the desert, it’s why I moved from So. Calif. to SO. Oregon when I was only 25 years old. I wanted away from the heat, smog, and long drive for work. Our lives began there, my husband and I, and lived there for 26 years. I miss if very much. And don’t get me started about the whole move and drive for 2 days to get here. AWFUL!!
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I’ll close with an Inspirational Quote….
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Recovery has given me a life now with no regrets…. just a few things to do.
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Happiness & Blessings All,
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon

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6 thoughts on ““FEAR”….It’s In My Recovery, In My Mental Illness, And In My Past Pain Of Childhood Trauma”…

  1. This may sound a little strange but now that I have your book, well the gifty thing for Amazon which I will redeem this week and I will get to your book after the couple I still have to read, but I will endeavour to catch up quickly…so my original strange thing was that I hate spoilers and so it is difficult reading your blog…assuming a lot odf what you write will be in the book. Am I weird?

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    • NO Steve your not weird!
      I try to keep my recovery posts to how I’m doing now, and how I stay in recovery with life’s hills and valleys to navigate.
      I do sometimes may reference a certain thing or moment from my book to be on point, but much of what I try to blog is good info on addicted gambling, raise awareness, and to help others know their not alone in recovery from compulsive addicted gambling. I’ll try to curb things from my book for a bit until you get to read it! I think you’ll find my Writing has matured since my book was released as I have learned SO much more about my craft! Catherine 🙂

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      • If there are little in the way of ‘spoilers’ then please don’t change anything for me, it is no hassle, I will keep reading no matter what. I shall ge motoring on my book commitments and will aim for starting it sometime after next weekend, apologies it can’t be earlier. I am oddly popular of late for reviews.

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  2. Did your phobia manifest when you were gambling in casinos or places like that or was that fear not present when you were actively gambling? I didn’t know there was such a phobia. But then again, there is a whole lot I don’t know.

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    • Great question Dustin,

      No I didn’t have Agoraphobia at the time I was active in my gambling addiction. I also used alcohol when I gambled, but when the dust settled, it was gambling, not the alcohol that was my “Demon”. I never drank except when I gambled.

      My gambling also was what brought my Bipolar depression, panic and anxiety issues to the surface. I had gone undiagnosed for many years, and that did make me a prime candidate for addicted gambling.
      My Agoraphobia came later after my first 2 years into long-term recovery.

      Doc says the over use of certain nerve & chemicals in the brain, like pleasure & reward, and another area is why I have to take the med wellbutrin, and the agoraphobia fear is another area of my brain, and feelings too of all the bad crap I went through like the criminal stuff, get me in a state of panic and fear of what others may say or think about me. It’s all so complex.

      I also was having in my bipolar, cycles of bad insomnia and mood swings, so I take another medication for that as well. Other than all THAT,… I’m Fine!….LOL. Catherine 🙂

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