I know this won’t be news to most of you, but… I live much of my life in fear.
Fear of noises.
Fear of smells.
Fear of people.
Fear of places.
Fear of situations.
Some days, even fear of my own shadow.
Some of these fears have a direct and obvious link to my past; others are more indirect.
I realised too that much of my healing – if not all of it – is about getting over these fears. Or at least learning to live with them so that I’m not paralysed by them all the time.
I could list for you a trillion times I’ve felt afraid – that familiar feeling of stomach flipping, heart beating faster, can’t get my breath, breaking out in a sweat. You know the feeling, I’m sure.
One particular situation is front of mind. For ages (years) I’ve loved photography, and wanted to do it. More. Properly. Better. But I’ve been too scared. Despite the fact that many of you have told me my photos are great, I never believed you. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true. I’m sorry. I thought you were just being polite – just like my friends in the real world who are not only being polite about the photos, but also only being friends with me out of pity, or obligation, or…I don’t know what. I didn’t believe that this photography thing was may be something I could do. Not until my therapist told me how good she thinks some of my photos are. So why did I believe her, and not you? Well, I guess I trust that she doesn’t BS me. Not about stuff like that anyway.
So she convinced me to enrol in a photography short course. The first class was last night and I can’t tell you how afraid I was. Afraid of going, afraid of not going. Afraid of the people and looking like an idiot. Afraid of being the dumbest and most hopeless person there. Afraid of failure and not being any good at photography at all.
On the way there I had to deal with my fears. With all these things as well as my fear of being late and
getting lost and
being trapped in the lift and
the crowds in the city and
a creepy man in dirty clothes standing outside his shop who I thought was going to grab me and
having to talk to people in the class who I was sure were thinking I’m an idiot and
not having a good enough camera (even though I do) and
not wearing nice enough clothes (even though I did) and
having to walk back to my car by myself after class (even though it was still light) and
and and and…you get the picture.
But I went to the class. To quote the cliché, I did “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I’m still afraid of all those things, but I went. I’m pleased I faced the fear, even though I know I’ll have to face it all again next week.
I guess this is why my therapist says I’m “gutsy”.
In other news my (half) brother-in-law had a stroke this morning. They are still testing but it sounds serious. I am freaking out. Selfishly I don’t think my freaking is for the bro-in-law (who I have only known for a few years and who gives me the creeps) but because I’m flashing straight back to when my father had his strokes last year. Please don’t worry, I’m ok. I have rested, refreshed and seem to be “back to a mild panic.”
Oh, and thanks to Wordle for helping me make this image.