Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fear and Shredding in Las Vegas

Dear Lynn,

My name is Heather, I am twenty-five years old, and I live
in Las Vegas. I have been sober now for two years but I still
struggle every day not to go back to that life style. When I
feel any pain or fear, my first reaction is to just go and get
high. How do you do it every day?

God bless,


Dear Heather,
Pain and fear are such powerful emotions. They have the ability
to destroy or transform, and it is up to us to decide which it will
be. There have been many times in my life where I have
succumbed to fear and pain. I have spent days lying in my bed
crying paralyzed by depression. Days shaking uncontrollably,
legs trembling, filled with panic. I feared what people thought of
me. I feared that I was a complete failure. I feared that I would be
“crazy” for the rest of my life. I feared being labeled an “addict”.
I feared what the doctors told me. I feared the news reports. I
feared that I was a phony. I feared my alcoholic father. I feared.
Even though I had: brushed death, been locked in two psychiatric
wards, even though I had been broke, alone, and broken hearted,
even after experiencing and living through all of this and more,

what was I still afraid of?
Over time I realized that it wasn’t the darkness that I feared but the
light. I had been through so many hellish experiences and had
lived in a nightmare for so long that I was comfortable with the
darkness and misery. Fear and pain were familiar to me, like a
couple of old friends who were always right there waiting for me to
jump back into their arms again. Heather here is a little exercise
that helps me tremendously and I know it will work wonders for
you too. You will need:
1.      One sheet of blank paper (more blank sheets may be
necessary depending upon how fearful you are)
2.      One pen
3.      One electric paper shredder
4.      One box of Kleenex

Strep One: Take out the pen and write down anything and
everything that is on your mind. Write down everything that
has been weighing on your heart. Write down every fear that
is standing in your way. Don’t hold back and don’t edit yourself.
Don’t worry about what anybody else will think; this is for YOU.
If this exercise scares you, that is OK too. Feel the fear and
Step Two:  Look at everything you just wrote. Don’t just breeze
over the words; read each sentence and REALLY FEEL these
emotions. Allow yourself to FEEL the hurts, the fears, the
frustrations, the questions, and the anger. Allow yourself to cry,
scream, bark, punch your stuffed animals; do whatever it takes
Step Three: Take the paper(s) and only AFTER you have really
FELT everything, each word, each fear, each emotion, I want you
to plug the shredder in and place the page(s) into its lovely mouth.
Step Four: Close your eyes and listen to those loud, beautiful,
grumbling noises as that little liberation machine eats and shreds
everything that has been holding you back from being the
beautiful, amazing, wonderful, loving, creative, and fabulous
woman that you are.
Repeat Steps One-Four as needed.
Some people pay a therapist.  
I bought my therapist at Target for 16.99.
Happy Shredding Heather!


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