When you think of fear, what comes to your mind? Running comes to my mind. Fear is paralyzing to me. All I want to do is run from all that is going on in my life. Fear ran my life to the point where it meant Forget Everything And Run. Today, in recovery, I try daily to Face Everything and Recover.
The other day, I found a state park that I had never been to and found some trails. I am a trail runner and love everything about being in nature. The sights and sounds of being on a trail in the woods remind me how grateful I feel for all I have and how I feel alive.
When I am literally running from my problems, I think about how grateful I am for the simple things that most people take for granted, such as eyes to see, arms to wave, and legs to walk or, in my case, run. Nature and running are like free therapy to me and have become a big part of my recovery.
That day in the state park, I felt so free running the trails that I just kept going, feeling relaxed and happy. Until I realized I was lost in a web of trails in a park, I didn’t know. For 45 minutes, I was in the woods, completely alone. I was sure I wasn’t going to find my way out, and I began to panic.
While this was scary, it was also exhilarating. I simply stopped and looked around at my surroundings. I prayed to God that He would help me find my way out. I found another trail I hadn’t taken yet and followed it. Again, it led to nowhere.
At this point, I wanted to call for help, but my phone was in low battery mode. I began to panic again as I took a chance and called the ranger station. And guess what happened? ….. Nothing. There was no answer. Oh no! What was I going to do?
I looked up the big hill ahead of me covered with tree limbs, plants, weeds, and possibly poison ivy and decided to take it on and head up it. At the top, I found a golf course where I saw golfers who gave me directions to get back to where I had parked. When I returned to my car, I was so relieved.
This experience reinforced to me how running is like recovery. Sometimes fear sets in, and our minds automatically revert to doing what is comfortable, which is often not good for us. Had I gone trail running with someone, I may not have gotten lost or been alone, but I knew it would take the uncomfortableness away. When I think about how I persevered and conquered that scary situation, I think of my recovery. If I persevere through the uncomfortableness of my fear and anxiety for a little while, I can get through it.
I was proud of myself because it could have been worse, and I could have made it worse if I had given up as I would have in the past.
Today I chose recovery.
I choose F.E.A.R. - Face Everything And Recover.