When people finally make their way to me they are terrified. They are desperate to get out of a toxic relationship but at the same time they are scared to death about what will happen to their child, spouse, partner, parent or friend if they should walk away. Many times we stay because we fear what will happen if we do leave or like in my case throw them out. It takes guts and courage to break away.
I remember one day in class my professor had the words “What would you do if you weren’t afraid” written on the blackboard. For some reason that question really resonated with me. Maybe because I remember how afraid I was to get out of the enabling relationship I was in for 16 years. Or maybe because fear is the thing that hinders our forward movement in so many aspects of life. Or maybe because it really gave me pause to think about what fears I had today that were constricting my life in some way. Have you ever thought seriously about what you would do if fear was not in the picture? Fear is a deadly enemy, a most unwelcome visitor and a toxic emotion that can cripple us emotionally and leave us exhausted and defeated. When you live with an addict you are afraid much of the time. Afraid they will die, go to jail, end up in a mental hospital or as was in my case a nursing home because she had damaged herself so much.She was living in a nursing home at 48 years old. But think about it, if the fear was gone would you be willing to take the steps to get out of the relationship? Would you be willing to let go?
The first part of any recovery program is anything that will help release that fear. In my workshops it is a combination of many steps including meditation, excercise, nutrition and self awareness. Calming the mind and slowly letting go of the stress and trauma that is causing the fear. This takes time and real commitment, no easy fix here. Recovery is hard work. It is critical at this time to rid yourself of negative sources, people, places and habits. Don’t be afraid to clean your house. Don’t be afraid to distance yourself from those who do not support what you are doing. I can tell you this because this is what I know; fear can be conquered and once it is you can begin the road to healing.