Monday, 24 January 2011

There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And the fear of fear. And the fear of fear of fear....

This is going to be a dark ride this time. Occasionally it pays to open up the locked door in the soul and take a peek, and I feel like a root around.....

Right back when my mind was forming I decided I hated being afraid. Really hated it, with a passion. As such I went out of my way to avoid being scared, by pre-empting the fear of fear by imagining the worst case scenario for everything. As I got older my ability to conjure up the worst possible outcomes got better and better - everytime I got in a car I was certain I would end up being removed with a tin opener. Every stomach ache was terminal, every headache was a tumour.

And little by little it sucked all the good out, made everything an exercise in fear and pain, because my defense mechanism, which was to prepare myself for the worst, because, if I did that, I would have nothing to fear, became the norm. There was no enjoyment, because everything would eventually tend towards failure and fear.

I lost the ability to look forward to things. I lost the ability to enjoy literally anything. And as a result I spiralled down into depression. Which I took as the norm because, of course, that was the worst that could happen.

Over time I dealt with this in different ways. I ended up on mood suppression drugs, special fun ones that stopped the down by wiping out everything above and below the 'meh' mood line. To combat this I started to drink, not heavily at first as the effect was good (the alcohol would bounce me out of the 'meh' mood level into a place I hadn't been for a long time, somewhere where I could look forward to things, to actually enjoy things).

Of course, the more alcohol, or any drug you take, the less effect, so I ended up drinking more and more and more to get less and less effect. Then one day I woke up and felt something in me snap - I cold turkeyed the anti-depressants, immediately stopping (which was amusing as I ended up having every single side effect, bar irregular periods of course, and a lot of them at once). I started to wind down the alcohol, because in the absence of the anti-depressants the moods started firing off again. I could feel ups, and downs, but they all felt pretty normal.

But the fear came back. And again, I was petrified of the fear itself, not the underlying causes. I worry about age, I worry about life, I worry about death, I worry about my job. And none of it is justified. Age is natural, and without memories we'd be nothing, without the time to learn how can we grow? Death is nothing to fear - if life is scary and hard then why fear the end of it? My job is an outlet I use for my constructive skills and I do it very well.

Then why the fears? Simple answer - I get high on the adrenaline rush of the fear. I cause the fear in my mind to get the rush. I have simply forgotten that *I* cause the fear.

So, here endeth the lesson of today. As a great man once said, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Always thought that was pithy, but turns out that it actually makes a good deal of sense.

Catharcism over, normal madness will be resumed when the black dog has his fill.

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