Fear and Faith Together
Fear and Faith Together
Whoever said you can’t have faith when facing fear was wrong. At least, in my personal experience, they were. These past two weeks I’ve been filled with fear. But, along with that fear, I’ve also had faith. Faith that the Universe was there, and had my back.
The cause of this fear came from my dad being sick. It started with an infected, abscessed wisdom tooth, and ended with him in the hospital this past weekend.
Up until my dad got sick, we weren’t close. If you’ve read my story, you’ll know that I am an ACOA – Adult Child Of an Alcoholic. My mom was my alcoholic, even though she didn’t live with us. But that story is for another post, and another day.
Even though my mom wasn’t in my life much, her disease still affected our family. It put stress on my dad because he had to work long hours to make a living, and to keep a roof over our heads. That in turn caused me to move into the “mom” role, sacrificing my childhood to help raise my little sister. It’s not a role I would wish on anyone, not even my own worst enemy.
Because of this, I had a lot of hurt and anger towards my mom and dad, long into adulthood. I only started getting close to my mom shortly before she passed away when I was 22. And, just recently, I started letting my dad back into my life.
When I was 20, I went away to college in another city. At that point, I started to let my dad in. I told him “I love you”. I gave him hugs, and was willing to receive them back. I realized just how important my dad was to me.
It wasn’t until our big family blow-out four years ago, when my sister and I were fighting with our dad and step-mom, that I started pushing my dad away again. It was a horrible ordeal, and I wish I could take it back today. All the words I said. All the time spent not talking to my dad as much as I could have. But alas, I cannot do that. I can only look towards the future, and change my behaviors going forward.
So, when my dad called me on my birthday a few weeks ago, sounding doped up (he’d just had his wisdom tooth pulled a few days prior), I was overcome by fear. I’ve read so many articles about people getting addicted to pain meds, and I feared that that would happen to my dad too. But, I was also puzzled by this fear. I wasn’t close to my dad, so why was I afraid? Good question.
After a quick fear inventory, I discovered that I was afraid because he’s the only living parent I have left. If I lose him, I’m an orphan. Little did I know at the time, getting addicted to pain meds was the least of his potential problems.
After having his wisdom tooth extracted, my dad slowly went downhill. Antibiotics gave him hiccups. Got meds for that. Then a rash from head to toe. Then, more antibiotics. Then, he began having shortness of breath. He couldn’t eat because his esophagus was inflamed, because of all the meds he was on. And, because he couldn’t eat, he lost a lot of weight, and became very weak. All that led to being admitted to the hospital this past weekend with a blood clot in his lungs.
Oh, and did I mention he’s diabetic too?
When it rains, it pours.
Thankfully I was home this past weekend, and could go to the hospital to see him. And, just like always, I played the stoic, strong one of the family when my dad and sister were on the verge of tears. But, it wasn’t all an act. You see, in the middle of my fear of losing my dad, I had faith that he would be okay. And, just so you know, he is. He was released Monday, and says he’s feeling much better.
How in the world did I face all that fear, and not only not drink, but also hold steadfast in my faith that he would be okay? Trust.
I trust the Universe. I trust that whatever happens to me, or those around me, is for the greater good. I trust that everything that has happened in my life prior to this has happened for the greater good.
Has it been a cakewalk? Hell no! It’s been a, fucking shit-storm crying till I can’t breathe and have no clue how on earth I’m supposed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, kind of time. It’s been a, so angry at god or whatever you want to call it that I just want to say fuck you I’ll handle my life myself, kind of time.
But it’s also been a, how wonderfully blessed am I to have gone through everything that I’ve gone through and still be alive to tell about it, kind of time. And a, I don’t deserve this much love and grace and forgiveness from the Universe and my family, kind of time.
You see, the most infuriating, but also the most beautiful part about being human is, we get to experience all the above daily, if we so choose. An entire range of emotions that are meant to tear us down, but in the end, make us fight like hell to survive.
This faith within fear took a long time to cultivate. It took a long time for me to build that trust in the Universe. It also took a long time to trust myself enough to let go of the reigns of life, and stop trying to control the outcome of everything. But, once I could (mostly) let go of control and trust that, whatever happens, happens for the greater good, I received an inner peace beyond measure.
This does not mean that I throw up my hands and say, “here you go Universe, do what you want”. No. Not at all. It means that I let my inner guide direct me through the ups and downs of life, taking the next step in the direction I feel I should go, and trust that my inner guide is right. Trust that whatever happens next is what is supposed to happen.
This being human thing has its ups and downs. If it didn’t, I think life would be boring. But with those ups and downs I get to learn lessons. Lessons about myself. Lessons about life. Lessons about others. That, right there, is why I continue this sober journey. The lessons, the joy, and the sadness. I am grateful to be human today.
With much faith – Mindy