When did I become so fearful?
Was I always destined to be this way; or have my choices pushed me onto this path? Fear relates to love. You love something; you fear losing it. Fear relates to loss; we all ‘fear’ losing control, money, possessions, everything we hold dear. Does this mean that if we’re lucky enough to be thankful for all that is good in our life we have to be fearful in equal measures? Therefore those who have less; in essence have less to fear, or do they in turn spend all their life living in fear that they’ll never have more? Confused? Yes I suppose I am. My predominant fears are always the children. This fear is always related to safety, health and their happiness. And this fear though it ebbs and flows, changes, adapts and has ridden waves of phase and growth is still bloody here! It waits quietly to fuck up my day…sometimes for good reason and often not. I don’t fear ‘fear’ so much anymore; thankfully the work I put into getting over a dire period of anxiety many years ago has stood me in good stead to not add ‘fear’ to my fears whether imagined or real. The rule of thumb is; if there is something I can feasibly do to decrease the potential of a negative outcome I will. If I have taken every available precaution then I must adapt the ‘out of sight’ method to ensure I don’t mentally unravel. Fear is exhausting. Just thinking through ‘worst case’ scenarios, potential outcomes and the necessary planning to avoid them takes up head space and creates a negative inner narrative. I’ve worked in administration for twenty years but still struggle to ‘house keep’ my mental health files; to prevent the strategy shelves collapsing under the weight of life’s potential ‘doom’!
I recall after the birth of my second child feeling a new kind of fear; fear I hadn’t got enough love to go around. To be fair this hit me on my third day when my milk came in. I was already utterly distraught that my pleasingly firm pregnancy boobs had suddenly become distorted out of all proportion; like the udder of a cow on steroids and then; ‘BOOM’ I’m crying. And I cried and cried for hours about how the hell I was going to ‘love’ my husband and both my little girls. I truly feared not having enough. Love that is…not tits; clearly I’d got enough of those.
I suppose before children all my fear’s were selfish; all about me. I feared not falling in love, not being enough, not having a decent job, not being pretty enough, slim enough and I genuinely feared setting my own perm on fire whilst smoking covertly behind Mum and Dad’s house. I feared embarrassing myself, upsetting my parents, not having enough friends and could I manage on 400 calories for the rest of my life in order to maintain a size 8 figure? All those fears are now dead to me; ridiculous and self-obsessed and just as embarrassing as my early nineties perm.
So how do I cope with fear now? Now that I’m a savvy, mid-forties blogger, would-be Author and Gym Bunny (yeah, I know I’m stretching it with that introduction!)? Why I cope by blogging; aka over-sharing, talking; family, friends, coffee or wine and three times a week ‘starting my day RIGHT!’ with a 6:30am kick up the arse! Fear should never be pushed away; it’s a kindly soul that in essence only wishes to point you in the right direction. Listen to it; formulate a response, action then file it on the appropriate shelf for reference again someday. Don’t try and control it; simply work with it. Acknowledge it’s prescence, give thanks for the warning.
And never, ever have a perm….