Sunday, October 12, 2014

Nothing to Fear

As we all know, the saying goes "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." However, I am living with a fear that is no less real because one US president decided that fear was harder to live with than the thing that we are afraid of. I actually agree with Sir Francis Bacon when he said "Nothing is terrible except fear itself."

So, what does a person do when what he/she fears is him/herself? How do you live with something like that? How do you function on a day to day basis? I am a ridiculously logical person 90% of the time. I need my logic to create a smooth outer finish for everyone to see, I need it to chase the chaos away, and I need it to keep the fear at bay. Now, I don't have anything to keep it at bay because logic is part of the fear.

Recently, I discovered that logic is not always a safe haven. Instead of logic saving me, logic nearly killed me. It didn't persuade me that hurting myself would hurt others. Instead, all it gave me was reasons why everyone would be okay without me. So, now I fear emotions and logic. What does that leave me? I have nowhere to turn to make sense of my life, except to others around me, and I have forgotten how to do that.

This is leading to some uncomfortable realizations about myself:
  1. I can't really handle emotions. I never learned how to as a child, and it's really hard to learn as an adult when you're in the habit of running from emotions or pushing them away from you. My therapist thinks we can work on my gut reactions to things, maybe we can work on this too.
  2. I have spent the last decade of my life pushing people away. I thought this was because I had to be strong and take care of myself. The truth of the matter is that I needed everyone to stay away because people generated real emotions, rather than the easily controlled fake emotions I conjured up to avoid curious looks from strangers, all pleasant of course. People want(ed) me to talk about myself, and that's horrifying to me. Unfortunately, now that I need people to replace my cold logic that was occasionally overcome with overwhelming emotions, this is definitely a problem. I feel so uncomfortable talking about myself that when I go to see a friend for that specific purpose I shy away and ask him to talk about himself. I'm so NOT OKAY with my own emotions that I feel freaked out after talking about myself to someone I PAY TO LISTEN TO LISTEN TO ME TALK ABOUT MYSELF.
  3. Due to pushing people away, I feel even more uncomfortable asking for help on something as intimate as sharing parts of myself I chose to pretend barely existed until 2 weeks ago. How dare I ask for help when I haven't been there for anyone for nearly 2 decades (I've only been pushing people away for the last half of that. You can deduce on your own what happened the previous half.) 
  4. No one in my life really needs me. They love me, yes. They want me around and to be able to call me up any time the desire arises, absolutely. They don't want me dead, HECK YEAH! But they don't really need me. I have not wanted anyone to need me, and effectively prevented that from becoming a thing with my friends and family, even my own children. I felt safer that way, right up until I wasn't safer, I was devastated. That's the reason it was so easy to believe it didn't matter if I lived or died. I wasn't NEEDED.
  5. I talk to no one. I feel just downright weird talking to people as much as I have the last couple of weeks. People want me to express how I am, but I don't know how to say anything other than my standard of "I'm fine." and really struggle with expressing things that I just recently let myself admit existed. If you are one of those asking, please be patient with me. Writing is easy, person to person interaction is just plain impossible most days. At least I'm trying now. You may think I sound easy going and fine, but trust me I'm usually not and I have to really work on that honesty thing. 
  6. It's probably better for me if I try for the sake of those that love me right now. I know you all think that's backwards, that I should want to do this for me, but it's so much easier to believe the bad stuff I've heard my whole life that I really don't like myself. So, trying for my own sake makes me feel hopeless and full of bad urges. When I think about the fact that others love me and I have a mission to be needed again, that is easIER. It's never easy. Even my good days are bad days.
  7. It is going to take me years to get through all the memories of my life. I feel like I've relived my entire life in the last 3 1/2 years and don't know how to file most of it away in my brain, so it's all scattered about on the floor and crammed into closets. Everything is clutter. The worst of it is the memories of the fugue. They fill my mind with so many confusing and terrifying images, I mostly really can't cope. I hope my therapist is prepared for a long haul with me.
  8. I am very, VERY afraid of myself. Mostly because, I heard all the others in the hospital say over and over "I will never do that again. I was so miserable after hurting myself I have no desire to even try again." But, I know I still could and frankly still would if I let myself spiral to where I was before. I have to tread lightly and stay open to everyone.
So you see, I don't have nothing to fear but the fear I live with, because I can't get away from what I fear the most. I live with it, breath in and out with it, I keep it in motion and it never shuts off. I am afraid of my own mind and how easily it will betray the vessel that it lives in because it's overwhelmed and doesn't want to try to live. I am afraid of myself, and I can't be ashamed any more about that. I just need to keep trying. For you!

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GROUP HUG!!!! Friends make everything better.