Cleveland, OH, USA

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  • David Smeltz

The 12 Promises #10

Promise 10: Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.


I had another Birthday. On May 28th, I celebrated my 64th Earth Day and my 19th Sober Birthday. There was a time that the possibility of being around for another birthday was questionable. During my life in active addiction, I had a great fear of people and I was definitely financially insecure. There were several reasons I feared people. One reason was that I didn't want you to know the real me. I thought that if you found out who I really was then you wouldn't want anything to do with me or would most likely ridicule me. I wore a mask the majority of my life. On the outside I attempted to portray confidence, assuredness and chronic coolness. However, on the inside I was sensitive, scared, timid and square. I would often dummy down or act ignorant of events and circumstances to avoid confrontation and the appearance that I was a know it all. Alcohol gave me the false courage I needed to behave differently while wearing my mask of deception. Another reason I was fearful of people was because I had stolen from and lied to so many folks that I wasn't sure if I had ripped you off or if I should try to remember the lie I had told you. I've finally learned to allow my inside to match my outside. There is no longer the cognitive dissonance and anxiety of being double minded. After learning to love and appreciate my authentic "self", the reason for wearing a mask has vanished. Masks are used to hide something. Today, I have nothing to hide and it's an awesome and liberating feeling!


My experience with economic insecurity has gotten better. Honestly, I still have a tendency to worry about my financial security from time to time. Usually those times are when I want something that is currently outside of my means to purchase or acquire. Notice that I said "..when I want..". Those things I "need" to survive are always provided whether my money is right or not. I believe that gratitude for what I have plays a big part in my economic satisfaction. Not comparing what I have to what you have eases self created conflict as well. While in active addiction, economic insecurity was tattooed across my forehead! All money and material possessions went toward getting high. "Everything Must Go!" sales took place regularly. It only makes sense that once my obsession with drugs and alcohol had been removed that only then I received a pay raise. Meaning, at least I'm able to hold onto what little money I have and not immediately spend it on dope as soon as it touches my hand!

And, once again, for this I am forever grateful!



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