I’ve been thinking a lot about fear recently, in particular, how fear rules my life. If I could visualise it, it’s a black mass lurking in the corners of my mind. Sometimes, when it’s bad, it seems to be all I’m made up of, like all my insides are black. Other times, it’s a smaller part of me. But it is always there.

Don’t get me wrong, fear is an important thing to have. At least from an evolutionary perspective, it’s there to keep me alive. There are certainly times in my life when I should question my safety and evaluate situations because of fear. I just don’t think those times should be when I’m trying to sit through a meeting, or leave my house, or catch a train, etc. I envy those that can partake in daily activities without being afraid.

I wish that I didn’t have to structure my life around this fear. I really don’t enjoy having to mentally prepare myself for any kind of social interaction. I don’t know what it’s like to drive a car without being afraid. People tell me that OCD will make your life smaller, it will shrink it down to just your house or your bedroom, unless you fight it. And it will happen so slowly that you won’t even notice, you’ll just give up on doing ‘normal’ things slowly, until one day you realise that you can’t actually do any of that stuff anymore. For too long I have drifted passively in this current of fear, and I’m at that point now where I can see that starting to happen to me. Fear has crept into my life and tainted almost everything that I hold dear.

So I guess I’m at the stage where I need to fight it. I’m doing my exposures, pushing through the fear to try and make it out the other end, so that I can go to that meeting or drive my car. It’s not easy, and it’s relentless, but I understand that it’s necessary. It’s just so difficult not to be afraid of the fear itself (ironic, huh?) It’s really hard not to feel like this is my life now, forever. I’m worried that I’ll always be afraid, and that my whole life will just be one giant exposure exercise. It’s hard to walk through life being afraid of everything, including myself and my own mind, and still be a functioning human being that can contribute to society. 

I read a quote somewhere, that said “everything you want is on the other side of fear”. I guess it was meant to be interpreted as motivation for going to that scary job interview, getting married or starting a family. I think it’s supposed to reassure people that it’s normal to be afraid when you’re going through big life changes or making a big decision, that nothing worthwhile in life comes easily. I think when you have OCD, or any kind of anxiety disorder, that saying can take on a whole new meaning. For me, fear is what is standing between me and a normal life. I want so desperately to be on the other side of fear. 

3 Comments
  1. Author
    Geekgirl114 5 years ago

    Oh wow, screwy HTML. Nice. Well , you get the point.

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  2. kitmoon 5 years ago

    I think that’s excellent advice. This is exactly what I started to do during the worst, most fearful time in my life. I felt like I was drowning in so many nebulous, crushing fears that finally I decided I really had to figure out what I was most afraid of or I would go crazy. After taking a look at all my worst-case scenarios, I realised every one of them was just an extreme form of smaller, longstanding fears about isolation, helplessness and family disconnection that I had already been living with for decades but had never been fully aware of, and which had just been left to grow and grow. I won’t say those fears vanished, but I could at least start to address them. It’s the difference between being in a scary place, and being there blindfolded and without a map.

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  3. whoami2 5 years ago

    The very best way to overcome fear is to confront it, and make a habit of doing so. Take it on, and you will soon become it’s master.

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