Every time we consider making any change in our lives, no matter how small, takes a degree of courage, because it always involves a step into the unknown. Deciding to change your life takes more then just a step; it's a leap – a leap into the unknown – a leap in the dark.
If you've ever seen a high wire act when the person walks along the wire suspended hundreds of feet in the air, and watched them take the net away and felt that sensation in the pit of your stomach that's part fear and part excitement, then you have a good idea what's it like to consciously change your life. Even if it's to change from being the victim of an abuser, to stop using drugs and alcohol, or any other change for the better, there is fear involved because it is going where you've never been before.
No matter how horrible it is, the familiar is at least a known and there is a degree of comfort that can be drawn from that fact. It's why so many people don't leave their abuser — not for fear of retaliation, but for fear of the new. Not knowing what the future holds is scarier to most people then the fear they have in the present.
Living is a terrifying experience and it's very easy to give in to the fear and not live at all. It so much easier not to feel at all than risk being hurt, so much easier to do nothing than risk being a failure, and so much easier to continue on the safe path of the familiar and not change. So why change at all, why take that risky step off the cliff into the unknown?
Not being able to speak for anybody else, or feel like I have the right to tell anybody else what to do, all I can do is tell you what guided my choice. I needed to leave behind old habits and ways of being that were governed by what happened to me in the past. It meant surrendering all the coping mechanisms that had kept me safe from hurt and stopped me from feeling. It also meant having to deal with all the reasons why I had developed all those habits.