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Fear

Fear is this week’s prompt from Weekly Prompts Wednesday Challenge. See more at https://weeklyprompts.com/2022/05/04/weekly-prompts-wednesday-challenge-fear-what-if/

Fear.

Just the word makes me want to hightail it to some place secluded, protected, and secret.

I came to realize some years ago that most of the issues causing me pain and discomfort have been caused by fear: my fear of failure, my fear of pain, my fear of isolation, my fear of being ‘found out’. 

I never thought I was particularly brave, but it never occurred to me I was driven by such soul-sucking terror. How did I get so consumed by dread and worry? Why was I so afraid?

I may never know the answers to those questions, but I felt liberated once I recognized that anxiety had played a major part of my decision making. And with that ah-ha moment, I could stop and ask myself what I wanted to run from? 

Sometimes (actually more than sometimes) my panic would be I was terrified someone would find out something about me I thought was bad or wrong. Heaven forbid I would be exposed to someone’s scrutiny and be found ‘less than’. I wanted to keep those self-described shortcomings to myself, hoping no one would see the real me. 

It took me a long time to understand my secrets were probably the most interesting part of who I am, and if I kept them hidden, I would never be free to claim myself. 

It’s not like I want to advertise every tidbit about myself, who wants to know that stuff anyway? But missteps I have taken, challenges I have faced, decisions I wish I hadn’t made, those are the things that molded me into who I am. If I had missed one of those steps, who would I be? Where would I be? 

Besides, as I look back on those things I’ve been fearful about exposing, they aren’t nearly as awful as I thought they were when I was digging a hole to bury them. Fact is, often, they were funny. Sometimes they were even silly, and certainly more times than not, they weren’t even life-changing. 

I’ve learned over the past 80 years, we all have our secrets, and mine aren’t any worse or better than someone else’s. Once I share my fears, my relationships with others flourish because those around me feel free to open up and share hidden parts of themselves. 

 Secrets keep me restrained, and I prefer freedom. 

4 thoughts on “Fear

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I too suffered this debikitating fear. I almost became agorophobic. But after attendung university and journalism school got out of my protective shell and stopped caring so much about me and focused on the people around me. That was good therapy for me.

    Like

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