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Day 19 – Perseverance and Anxiety

Day 19 – Perseverance and Anxiety
Day 19 – Perseverance and Anxiety

I have to giggle right now over the sheer determination and perseverance I employed in finding my speaker. For those who don’t know, I am hosting a speaker for our local Fellowship convention coming up. I’ve been trying to get a hold of this person for days, and finally had to resort to Google to find them.

Any lengths as the saying goes. Which makes me think back to my drinking days. I was determined to find a way to get a drink no matter what. Sneaking drinks when I was underage. Raiding my piggy bank when I didn’t have enough money in my account. When my card was declined, and I couldn’t buy the 24 pack of beer, I bought the 6-pack instead leaving $1 or so in my account. I was determined to get that alcohol, one way or another.

Out of desperation I took that determination and perseverance, and put it into my sobriety. After I had tried other ways to stay sober, instead of working the steps, I broke down. I saw that nothing short of going to any length to stay sober would keep me sober. If I had to make the amends that I had been dreading, I did it. If I had to share my deepest darkest secrets with my sponsor, I did it. If it would keep me sober, I realized I had to do it.

In all areas of my life I strive to bring that sense of determination and perseverance into my life. And that goes for getting a hold of my speaker. But, in my excitement to get a hold of them today, I didn’t write down the information I needed to give to them. Whoops! I didn’t write down the dates of the convention. I didn’t write down the time they would be speaking. I barely thought about what I was going to say to them if they picked up the phone.

Which brings me to my next point of the day: anxiety. I have social anxiety. Talking to new people still freaks me out today, even though I’m 3 years sober. Talking on the phone is a chore because I have to work up the courage to make the call, and have an idea of what I will say if the person does answer.

So today, when my speaker answered, I stumbled and fumbled over my words. I felt like a blubbering idiot. But, the call ended well when we started talking about last names. My last name is of German origin. Theirs is of Irish origin. And most importantly, I didn’t die of humiliation. I forget that sometimes.

The thing about anxiety for me is, if I have an awkward conversation, that conversation lives in my head afterwards. I replayed our conversation over and over after I hung up the phone. I berated myself for not having all the information ready when I called. I beat myself up for not thinking through more clearly what I was going to say if they did pick up. It was not a good time to be in my head.

Something I have learned though is, I do not have to stay in those feelings. I’ve had many great teachers, Life Coach Jodie Hebbard, and Lorelei from Lorelei’s Musings on Facebook, just to name a couple. They have taught me that I do not have to live in my feelings. I need to recognize them, yes. But I don’t have to stay in them.

So, after I remembered this, I talked to myself. I went over all the things I did correctly in my mind, showing myself that I didn’t screw up after all. I told myself that I did well, I did not screw up, and basically gave myself a pep talk.

I’ve learned over this period of sobriety that I am a hardheaded individual, which can be good or bad sometimes. I’ve also learned that my feelings are only indicators, not dictators. I can recognize how I am feeling, but I don’t have to live in those feelings. I can choose today to release them to my Higher Power, and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Originally published January 25, 2017 – medium.com

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