“The person who risks nothing, does nothing, and is nothing. He may avoid suffering to a degree, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or even live. Chained by certitude, you are a slave, and have fortified freedom. Only a person who risks is free.” -William Arthur Ward-
Change is hard. To stay the same is natural. Through 2-years of sobriety I have learned that the hard route, the road less traveled, is more often than not, the right path for me. Being a recovering heroin addict had left me insecure and anxious about life in general; far from the courageous, social and comical person on heroin. I found it frightening and hard to speak up for myself. Court, college, even peers; I would isolate and avoid interacting socially. When an advisor signed me up for human communications I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In our first class I learned we had to give four speeches. My first thought was, “I’m dropping this class”. I stuck it out though. I’m glad I followed through. I was obviously nervous about my first speech. The anticipation was worse than the actual delivery. I scored 95 out of 100. I felt great afterward.
I have shared my testimony several times and given several presentations. My last presentation netted me 55 points out of 50; the highest score in my class. Due to an unexpected transfer I’ll have to retake the human communications class, which isn’t near as daunting as it was the first time around. I feel my recovery is the same as glossophobia. It can be terrifying at first. You’ll lose sleep over the anxiety, the fear, the uncertainty, the doubt, and most of all the fear of failure. Our instructor told us “as far as I know no one has ever died from stage fright”. Well as far as I know no one ever died strictly from recovery. The more I got up in front of people, the more confident I became. Recovery is the same way. And after all what did I have to lose? Nothing! There is nothing to lose but everything to gain.
Now, I don’t hesitate to ask questions when I need help. I don’t fear authority. I won’t lose sleep knowing I have a sales presentation to do in 2 weeks. That incidentally is one fourth of my entire grade for that class. I won’t avoid attempting to contact my daughter due to anxiety and fear of being let down. Most importantly, I won’t stay the same because of fear of failure or uncertainty. With realistic goals and perseverance the sky is the limit.
Edited/Published by Dawn Seitter