My fear looks and sounds like anything and everything. It can take on the face of someone else who will judge me for my failures or remind me of not being good enough or not being successful enough. It’ll take on my own inner voice and bring to light all of the normal and abnormal worries I may have.
It doesn’t like being challenged, it always thinks it’s right, and it is working OT around the clock by hogging the drivers seat in my mind to make sure I’m safe. Safe from the world, rejection, myself, loss, life experience, death, food posioning, 80s hair band music, car accidents, scary tv or movies, public flatulence, violence, health or medical conditions, public shame. Basically anything and everything most normal sane people wouldn’t want to deal with.
Ultimately, my fear, expects I am going to mess up, make a mistake, have awful things happen that will render me unable to ever experience life with a positive attitude ever again. My fear is a taunting asshole who says being positive is naive, is the way people get hurt, or miss something and under estimate the rain storm that’s really a tornado brewing ready to relocate your house in just a few minutes.
It’s the communicate voice of the villains in any made for TV special, dateline special or other terrifying story of, “It was just a normal afternoon when this tragic line of events took place for….” And it’s always outlined in the same way, a mundane day, bland events that outline everyone’s daily life (not in the specifics but in the relateable just another day routine) before tragedy strikes in some form or fashion making viewers feel as though they have to somehow never relax enough into their mundane lives that are boring yet so fabulous all the time in its boredom, because surely that’s when they’ll miss something, that’s when the other shoe drops.
Or at least that is why my fear tells me. It latches on to every scrap of evidence, every awful something and it just replays, hypothesizes, predicts, rants as to what I need to plan to prevent, survive or avoid.
It’s downright exhausting. And it doesn’t stop there it also bleeds into simple, silly little trivial things like my day job, or making enough money to not be judged by my friends who make more, or being the right kind of person or saying the right things.
The underlying dictation of most of my interactions in life is based around fear and what it is telling me to avoid and I do avoid things. I avoid flying, being in potentially too public of places in fear of random violence, I avoid engaging with certain people because they have know it all bully like attitudes that I don’t like being around, I fret about good things being destroyed by bad so then even when I’m in a good situation, I am suddenly remembering the bad that may or could or will come.
I can recall many times when I’d go see a movie, a regular past time for me that I really enjoy, and I’d suddenly have this panic of, “Oh I have to do xyz” and I’d have this pit in my stomach that eventually I forgot and I’d then fret and try to remember, “I thought of something bad, now what was it again?” In a few minutes I’d recall it and either dred it or be relieved that it wasn’t a huge deal.
Wow. My fear is out of control. Now, I”m not house bound and I do regularly challenge and fight with my fear. It’s a hard relationship though and I”m working on cutting it’s hours because the work load is too much for one emotion alone to handle. After all, happiness also protects us like fear does by presenting itself in good situations to let us know this is desirable, more please.
Or feeling calm and collected also usually indicates not being in a moment of danger or stress.
So whey then is it only fear that gets the drivers seat? Because fear is the natural choice to watch out for all that is out there and it’s wired into our brains to always be checking for and calculating risk, or so I’ve read that. It makes sense, build shelter, avoid the bear, get food. Got it.
Well now it’s got a lot more to sift through and it unfortunately likes to do all the work and not ask for help because that’s what fear does. And its fearful of being cast aside and missing something that anger or happiness will not see and then boom, I’m dead or in a coma, or homeless or something and fear is out of work because it dropped the ball.
Only realistically speaking, if that were the outcome, likely fear would be in even higher demand to recover from said situation. Aaanndd…. that’s assuming that disaster always strikes when fear isn’t in the driver’s seat. Well, just like most things in life, fear has to be given time to rest also or have a day off, even if it’s not long. So, there have already been times where you’ve let it go and nothing goes wrong, the world doesn’t fall apart. Nothing happens. Great.
My fear is something I have been dealing with my entire life and it’s evolved and taken shape in so many different ways for so long. It’s really quite interesting now into adult hood to see the shape it is taking and see just how deeply rooted it has gotten into it’s OT position of too many responsibilities.
So I’m working hard to figure out how to delegate. Not get rid of fear because it’s not necessary nor is it possible and because I actually do want fear in my life because it has its purpose but that’s exactly it, I’m not using it purposefully I’m using it frivolously by thinking every single action may result in undesirable results all of the time.
I’m exhausting my fear muscles to the point of paranoia, like a stoner thinking the cops are coming or the neighbor is really part of the CIA or James Bond or something. Fear gets to overworked it begins to retreat from anything else and that, in my life, looks like seclusion from others and life experiences.
It creates scenarios and events that are not even real but loosely based on past experiences, be it in this life or another, or from another person’s stories. How many times have you been in a situation when you hear about another person’s experience and you instantly think you will have the exact same outcome?
Right. I do that all of the time. They were scared of this and that’s what happened? Oh my! That must mean I’m fated to the same thing?? Or, they surely must have missed something to have gone down that road, right? Right.
Oy. My fear is something I am regularly allowing to drive and now that I’m seeing all the ways in which it has been on overdrive in my life I’m learning all the ways in which I can recruit other drivers or at least co-pilots for right now, until it’s ready for a new driver in there.
My fear is not much different than anyone else’s and I’m learning it is really quite boring and repetitive. It tells me the same things over and over again. It’s limiting and it’s reclusive because everything and everyone quickly becomes a threat or a risk or something that will result in undesired results.
I also have learned not to try and make my fear go away or think I am wrong for having it in the first place as it is a necessary part of our senses but it shouldn’t be the driver and I shouldn’t be the passenger. It’s the faithful body guard that’s calm, alert, and sensible. I mean really, who would you want for your body guard? Someone like Kevin Costner from the actual movie, Bodyguard or someone like an over eager testosterone fuelled meat head who is as paranoid as a pot head thinking everything is something!
I mean in the actual face of danger, is the latter going to keep me safe or screaming and frantically panting to find the nearest hole to duck my head into? Right. So I pick the other choice. And it doesn’t have to be a male, it could be a female entity too – either way is fine. Just the first thing that popped into mind.
My point is this – my fear – well it keeps me stopped, angry, and stuck. It keeps me mad at other judgmental folks and it keeps me judgmental back — when it’s working OT and isn’t allowed a break.
This year, I’m working more on my fears. I’m working more on letting my fear have it’s chance to voice it’s concerns, hear them, think about them and decide what things are worth doing anyway and which ones, well maybe I can skip, but ultimately remembering what fear is really there for – to keep me safe from actual danger.