"No one ever told me grief felt so much like fear." -C.S. Lewis

At the heart of every addiction is fear. At the heart of fear is grief. The path to recovery comes through grief. Only through recovery did I realize my life was dominated by fear. I had lost my self or, it is more accurate to say, I never really knew myself.

I had fear of not being loved, so I looked to others to give me love, instead of loving myself. I had fear of not “doing it right,” so I did everything possible to be as certain as I could of my every step. This kept me from the beautiful gifts of not knowing, like spontaneity and creativity. I had fear that I didn’t matter, so I became a people pleaser setting off all kinds of dysfunction in my life. I let others define who I was, and I became disempowered. There are many other fears I came to discover. And, underneath every one of them was something I had to grieve.

Dr. Alan Wolfelt says, “Grief is the internal meaning given to the experience of loss.” Whether I realized it at the time, I was on a journey to find meaning as my life was upended. The path to recovery comes through grief. Admittedly, fear and grief are intermingled, as are grief and awakening! I can say this with confidence now: grief is no longer something to fear, but has become a window into my heart!

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.