Fear. It’s my worst enemy. I feed it, I starve it, I am ever aware of it. It is my boss, my master. I run from it and embrace it.
It is my shadow. My future, my past, my ever-widening present, a black hole that sucks in all light and air.
Passover approaches. The kids are all home. I want to escape. Need to escape!
My drug is within reach. I put my arm out toward it.
Suddenly I pause.
And in that moment of pausing, I feel a presence. It’s a voice stirring from somewhere inside. A group of voices.Of faces.
These are my friends. My friends in recovery. They are with me. Not eyes to spy, but eyes to turn to for warmth, for understanding, for support. Warm eyes, telling me they believe in me. Reminding me I have tools.
But the eyes are misty, hazy. And my drug is right here. I can reach for my drug, if I want.
But is that what I want? Really?
I take a step back.
But my feet are frozen in place. My fear throws out a web that binds me, sticks to my back, tries to pull me in.
What if my kids drive me crazy? What if there’s a mess all the time? What about the noise and the chaos and the unpredictability?
The strands of the web tighten their grips as I fall.
I reach out again, and again I pause.
I’ll just get rid of my drug, banish it from sight. I’ll empty my house of every trace of what pulls me, toss it in the trash, flush it all down the toilet.
The strands loosen their grip, and it seems that I’ll be free of temptation.
But I can’t do it, can’t go through with it. I can’t throw away my drug.
Because my drug is food. I can’t get away from it. It’s everywhere.
For them, it is nourishment. For me, it is a drug.
Instead of throwing it all away, I need to keep it nearby at all times and still find a way not to stumble. I need to use it without abusing it.
I just need to get through today, I tell myself.
I feel the cloud of fear smothering me. Passover is long, so long. What if I don’t succeed? What if
Just for today, I tell myself. Just for today.