Fear is a personal friend of mine. It has been with me so long now that I almost don’t remember a time without fear, but I do. I remember being fearless when I was 5 and younger. I remember the carefree, joyousness of each day, bounding out of bed and ready to tackle any and all adventures. I can actually still feel it in my very soul and everyday after the loss of my freedom, I have been striving to get it back, like Peter Pan trying to hold on to his shadow.
Each day, each hour and every minute, I congratulate myself on completing the moment before, on putting one step before the next, on accepting the challenge of going worth in this world. No one knows I feel this way. People that know me would never believe these feelings are harbored within me. But, quite often, the only thing that keeps me going is that I am a survivor and I refused to be beaten, especially by something as insubstantial as fear. People often wonder why I don’t “do more with my life.” If they only knew how hard it was to just keep breathing, they wouldn’t wonder. And believe me, this isn’t depression and I’m not suicidal. I am immobilized. I am blocked and hindered by this vast wall of nothingness that feels like a barricade.
I am not afraid of snakes or heights or closed in places or real substantial things that make some sort of sense. I am afraid of the unknown. This is why getting out of bed in the morning is so frightening. I never know how the day will go or whom I will meet or what obstacle will be placed within my path. It is so hard to start something when you are so afraid of how the process will go. Not just the outcome. I really don’t care about succeeding or failing (I used to think that’s what it was) but I am afraid of not knowing what is going to happen. Once I am in the process, I feel better and I whiz through things, No Prob.
I lost my faith in my self at such a young age: my ability to discern, my ability to protect, my ability to hear my own voice. As the years go by, as each day is negotiated, and the fear hasn’t become a real monster, I get somewhat better, but there is still a huge pocket of the ugly, grimy stuff that threatens to suffocate me on occasion.