Monday, 21 May 2018

My Biggest Fear Is Fear Itself


Fears and phobias are a funny old thing. Using 'funny' in the sense of horrific and absurd. Some folks are mortally afraid of moths. For others it's clowns. Neither bother me. Cockroaches, on the other hand: EEEEEEEEK!!!


I've blogged about my fears and phobias before. They're all fairly generic: heights, public speaking, the dentist, and of course, cockroaches. Shudders. I know I'm not alone here. Many people fear these things.

These days, I would have to say, my BIGGEST fear is something happening to my children. A close second is getting cancer again and not being around for my children. But even after saying this and knowing it to be true. I truly fear these things. I realise there's a bigger everyday fear that's always lurking.

Fear itself.

Yep. I have an anxiety disorder. My biggest fear is fear itself. This is tremendous fun. Said no one ever.

The thing is, even though I once had a pathological fear of childbirth, I faced it. Hearing that you have a cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the most frightening things ever. But I got through it.

Now I am left with the fear of it happening again. Even though my current reality is that I'm cancer free and well, the fear still intrudes.

Anxiety is so strange. At times you can pinpoint the triggering thoughts, other times it just pounces out of nowhere. Of course I've learnt all about the fight or flight instinct and how anxiety is necessary for human survival.

Additionally, my understanding is that being autistic means I am wired to be more prone to or predisposed to anxiety. So I decided to  name it Agnes and make an uneasy truce with her. I don't like her, but I understand why she exists.

There's a theory I've heard of that says fear can either mean Fear Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Don't you just love inspirational quotes? Yeah, me neither. But I have to admit, when I first began having panic attacks many years ago I often did the former. Until I realised: I don't run.






I avoid my fears and problems, sure. But running is stupid.

Seriously though, now I can say I (mostly) do the latter and face things. Sort of. Kind of. Sometimes.

What I mean is, the fear doesn't evaporate but I let Agnes tag along and I tell her what to do not vice versa. Occasionally she still manages to get the better of me. She's a freaking bitch so I expect that. Dammit.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of this true crime stuff which seems to be the thing these days. This is veering slightly off-topic, but I have a point so bear with me. It seems like an odd thing to be interested in, given my anxiety and self-confessed aversion to blood, guts and gore.

However, it's not that part of it that intrigues me. It's the psychology behind the crime or behaviour. How one individual can come from a tragic background and become a criminal, while another rises above it. The other day I heard a psychologist explaining what a sociopath is like. Supposedly they not only lack empathy but it goes further into complete callousness. According to this psychologist, sociopaths also don't experience stress or anxiety like others do.

In a weird way, understanding this helps me accept the things I dislike about myself. I don't like my anxiety, aka Agnes, but if I never felt it whatsoever, then I'd be a sociopath. Or something. Does that make sense?

I mean, obviously I'm just a little self absorbed or I wouldn't have a blog all about myself (ahem), but I'm not a sociopath. 

So yeah, my biggest fear is fear itself. And I'm okay with it. 

But anyone who's okay with cockroaches? PSYCHOPATHS. All of them. I don't need a psychologist to tell me that. 

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

What is your biggest fear?
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4 comments:

  1. I like how you've given yours a name - Agnes. It sounds as though you've not made friends with her, but you do have an understanding - of sorts. A really good, thought-provoking post.

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  2. I see a cockroach once every six months and then he's gone again. Better out of sight! I do believe that my son has anxiety related to his Aspergers.
    This has made me wonder about people who don't understand anxiety, or dismiss it as stupid, are they sociopaths?
    Anxiety brings fear into situations where there is no fear. Normal shit, like walking into a shop! Freakin' bitch alright :D

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  3. Yes to all of this - I was talking to my Oncologist about it last week. It's paralysing sometimes - like I can't live a full life before I'm anxious about cancer coming back when that 'should' be spurring me on to LIVE A FULL LIFE :( x

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  4. How creative. Yes, give the anxiety and name and tell it/her to 'bug off'. Ness, your strength and insights are amazing. Do not believe Agnes, believe the much more delightful name of Vanessa!!
    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek 21/52. Next week's optional prompt is "How Did My Blog Start"
    Denyse

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