(my take on the eleventh part of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy)
An old cliched saying I’ve been fond of repeating in the past – I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. I can’t think of a time I’ve said that which didn’t refer to fear. I know fear when I experience it and my brain says, “Denise, don’t be stupid. Don’t ignore this because if you do, we’re not going to have a happy ending.”
I remember an old MASH scene when they all have to bug out from the shelling and they wind up setting up hospital in a cave. Hawkeye comes face to face with his claustrophobia. The claustrophobia wins. He says something like “I know this cave is safe, I know it’s not going to collapse, but it’s going to collapse, so let’s just admit that and I’m going to sit outside in the shelling, OK?”
I know what it’s like to sit outside in the shelling and you likely know as well. My fear can be so powerful that I will opt for taking truly dangerous paths rather than a path leading to safety.
Occasionally people tell me how courageous I am to be the woman I was created to be in this world. Easy it is not. People suffer in real pain trying to overcome the inertia of fear of taking the first step on a journey of transition. But opting for the fear of appearing different is far more dangerous. People die trying that.
My real fear? Facing today knowing I’m not going to drink. Some days are better, but I still break out in a sweat sometimes at the prospect. If I break up my fear (and the day) in small pieces, I get to the end of the day successfully in the grace of my Higher Power. I survive my fear. I wasn’t off sitting outside in the shelling. I know somewhere in the back of my mind that tomorrow I’m going to have to do this all over again, but just for today my fear is vanquished and I live.
If you are reading my blog and really want to give up your fear or you worry about another who is mired in her own fear, you know at least one other person who knows something about what this is like. Me. And I know a lot of other people who can help too. Give up your fears. They don’t love you.