I fear Fear

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I'm really into suns & sunshine at the moment - I so love Photoshop & creating my own library of clipart

I fear Fear. & I fear Fear is winning.

Fear & I have been adversaries for as long as I can remember. I had my first real anxiety attack in 8th grade in front of a whole class of my junior high school peers - ya huh !! it was way down hill from there, Fear was like a turtleneck I wore everyday from then on. Somehow I managed to get through junior high school relatively unscathed, then onto high school where I begged each individual teacher (3 years x 5 or 6 = do the math) at the beginning of each year to NOT make me read aloud, give a speech or make a presentation - please I begged of them, just let me sit here, try to learn something and be invisible. Please ! Most complied.

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater
and greater things. Rainer Maria Rilke

I didn't go to art school 'til I was 23, considered at that ripe old age, a mature student. I loved NSCAD (my art school) instantly, felt like a born again Christian must feel - I had found my place, I had indeed been saved, but not sadly from fear. Fear still lurked, clung, taunted & terrorized me. Still I made it through 5+ years and 2 degrees - Fine Art & Design because I couldn't make up my mind between the 2, that & I loved (and wanted to take) pretty much every course they had on offer.

I've lived all over the place Halifax, Fredericton, Moncton, Calgary, Montreal, Toronto & enjoyed some high powered, high responsibility jobs (in title anyway  Art Director, Creative Director) and finally ended up happily working/living in my current little village by the sea. I've travelled to exotic and exciting places Paris, China, NYC, LA, Taiwan - I even lived in London on an art college exchange for 4 months. Yet I am here to tell you without a doubt in my mind that I have been afraid of all of it. When I look back at the events of my life I can never believe that I lived them, or how I possibly survived. I believe partly what has saved me, what has always made me brave enough was I couldn't (still can't) bear to miss out on something exciting, an opportunity, a chance, a new experience. Curiosity is a natural enemy of Fear.

This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly. Rainer Maria Rilke

Sadly it feels like, as I grow older, my insecurities, worries & fears all get bigger & stronger. It has new weapons I can't deal with. It's overcoming me, it's smothering me. I feel like Fear is winning. I feel like maybe I'm giving up. My 2 biggest fears at the moment are Winnie's impending death, I know it's soon ... she's very frail, but I have no idea how soon, so I watch her like a hawk, monitoring everything (poops, pees, quantity of food, her gait, her sleep, her breathing, her personality) 24/7 which as you can imagine is exhausting. I'm not sure what it is I fear so much about her death. Of course I'll miss her terribly, I'll feel deep grief. I already feel it. I am super prepared & I've been there, I know those feelings well & I survived them again & again - so what's the Fear ? My other huge Fear is moving away from 29 Black Street. When I say that I know many of you are like "well why move ? stay there for heaven's sake ! we don't want you to move" But you see ... I want to move, we want to move, I can't wait to move, I need more, want more life in my life & we both want much less in terms of stuff, square footage, acreage. The reasons for moving are all agreed upon, decided, it's very positive - a done deal, signed, sealed - there is no turning back ... yet I feel terrified. I'm terrified because I can't picture it, even though I've been wishing, dreaming & manifesting up a storm what, where & how our new tiny life will be (in meticulous detail, trust me).

I think I get sad & fear confused or maybe they are the same thing. I feel sad and feeling sad makes me feel afraid.


  1. Well, as far as stresses go, those two are biggies. I think every personality type has its strengths and weaknesses, and for you and I, our personality type—the custodian, trustee, protector—this is one of the weaknesses, planning for and trying to be prepared for the worst, and living with the fear and anxiety of that worst case scenario. We are too responsible to ignore the possibility of the worst case scenario or pretend it isn't there.

  2. thank you John for making it sound sensible & not pure, crazy, mad talk/feelings
    xoxxoxo Susan + gang - enjoy your NYC pet care duties / life /pleasures- I'm jealous !!

    we will meet in NYC one day soon- I promise xoxo Susan

  3. You write so well and have explained your feelings beautifully. Wish I could say something stunning to help you feel better. But like John said the 2 stresses you have right now are real biggies and I think it's quite normal to be worrying about Winnie and about moving away. Maybe it will help you to know that we (your blog fans) are thinking of you and Winnie and are sending positive vibes your way! Bravo for all your accomplishments Susan.

  4. The stress of moving and the impending loss of your beautiful Winnie are really big issues to deal with dear Susan, there is nothing crazy about the feelings you are experiencing. To deal with many unwanted situations in my life and there have been quite a few, I have to imagine what it will be like if the worst happens, some kind of scenario I live out in my mind, to me it is a kind of preparation to cope with the fear.
    Love, Dianne xoxoxo

  5. We seem to be the same person. I "like" change in concept but hate going there. I watch my own dog and am always conscious of his expiration date.

    On fear. I was engulfed in it and one day I asked myself what was the worst thing that could happen in the present specific situation. I examined it and decided I could deal with it. In school I hated being called on and never spoke. Never. Now I speak to strangers every day and even teach classes. In small ways, I examined the "what is the worst that could happen" and found ways to deal with it. Mostly I decided that the "worst" wasn't as terrible as I had imagined.

    In your case, I might rent the Black Street house while trying life out away from it. Then sell it. You'll sleep better.


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