Fear.

28 Mar

 

I have wanted to write something about fear for a while now. I think about fear a lot.

 

It seems like a childish thing, when I was young I was scared of the dark, ghosts, spiders, my father’s rage, cooked vegetables (I really only trusted them when they were raw). Now this childish fear seems just that, infantile.  (Actually, I’m still pretty wet panty scared about ghosts but we can let that one slide for the purposes of this blog). 

 

When you grow up, you think fear might become a thing of the past. Because you’re an adult in the big wide world and you can do whatever it is that you want and every choice is yours and you can OWN it.  

 

Recently I did something that other people have described as brave.  I mean multiple, unrelated to each other, people have emailed me using the b word. Some even SAID IT TO MY FACE. Completely unprovoked. So the thing that I did that I didn’t think was remotely actually brave, I now think is VERY brave and I feel a little like Braveheart (or I would if I’d ever seen that film. I’m sorry I’ve never seen that film. Yes I know I have worked in film for the past 7 years. Great that’s done with)

Anyway. The thing that I did was that I left my job. My job of stability for the past four years. Of people with the same faces and the same tasks and the same ‘I know how to do this standing on my head’ (although, quite frankly, WHO ever wants to do anything, ever, standing on their head) comfort.

 

And for the first bit of it, I was fine with it. 

 

But then a few days ago, I started feeling THE FEAR.  

 

The OH MY GOD WHAT IF NEVER FIND ANOTHER JOB AND IN A FEW MONTHS I’LL RUN OUT OF MONEY AND END UP ON THE STREETS AND LIVING IN A CARDBOARD BOX AND EVERYONE WILL FORGET WHO I AM AND I’LL HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO TURN INTO A JUNKIE OR CRY ENDLESS TEARS OF SADNESS AND WOE. I got completely and utterly lost in fear and stared into a depth of utter terror for about fifteen minutes. It swallowed me whole and when I came out of it, I was very sweaty and shivery. At the same time.

 

But the fear of THAT was strangely liberating. Because, the thing is, is that I feel scared every day. But not about jobs or money or my weight or if ill meet my future husband ever. (EVER?). I feel scared about actual scary things. 

 

When I was 22 I was paralysed by a stupid tumour. IT WAS STUPID. It was called a neurofibroma like the SHOW OFF THAT IT WAS WITH TOO MANY PONCING SYLLABLES. 

 

Anyway, I’ve written far too many blogs about it in detail to go into it now. It’s only relevant in the context of THIS FEAR.  Because, this is what I think. 

 

Once you have stared down the barrel of fear’s gun, like you do when you can’t walk and you think you’ll never have a future or a love or a life or a job. When you have really seen real fear, which I think is a blessedly rare thing to happen to a person, it never truly leaves you. I still have nightmares all the time, where I can’t move my legs and people are chasing me, and I can’t move them and I want to walk and run but I can’t. My mind takes me back to paralysis in a way so vivid that when I wake I kick my legs against the duvet like I want the duvet to be a brick wall so the pain of kicking will be a sufficient reminder to remember that I can move them again and my hell is over.

 

And because I have experience THAT FEAR. This fear, is, well, more like exhilaration. I’m alive. I live my choice. I feel DELIGHTED to be scared of things normal people are scared of. 

 

Because spinal injuries are brutal. Your doctors, my doctors, they will tell you they don’t know your future.  Maybe one day you will creep back towards the paralysis. Maybe. So fear hangs over your head like a the waft of a smelly, smelly person on public transport. But it’s also the sunlight. It’s the thing that pushes you forward, that makes you live your life faster like you are existing on borrowed time and that time is a gift and you should damn well do as you please because one day that time wont be there anymore. It’s actually the thing, that makes you not scared any more. 

 

So for now, I’ve decided to make fear into a chocolate digestive biscuit. Mainly because it’s the only thing I have to hand at the moment that I want to eat. So. I’m going to eat my fear.

 

Bye fear. 

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