Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Fighting the Fear


I hate to admit it, but I am scared. I am fearful of so many things and I allow them to hold me back. Being insecure is part of my comfort zone. Being insecure is all I've ever known. I meet people with confidence and think, "Wow! How awesome are they?" But to be confident, I'd have to believe I am good at something, that I have something to offer the world, that I matter. And I'm aware that for my life to begin means that I have to step outside of my comfort zone.

I'm scared of failure which I allow to keep me from writing. If I don't write, then I can't fail, right? WRONG!! I'm failing myself by not trying. I'm aware of all of this. However, with my depression weighing on me like a Mack truck, I just wanna throw in the towel. Instead, I write my blog posts. I put all of my feelings out into the universe and release them. I am hoping that my scattered and random thoughts will make sense to the people who need to know they're not alone.

I get up every day and go through the motions of my life. Walk and feed the dog, shower, eat, get dressed, go to work, go home, walk and feed dog, eat, crawl into bed, talk to my sister, and pray sleep comes easily. Some days, I go to bed laughing. Others, I cry until I'm exhausted. And the rest? Well,I allow my brain to run wild and tell me all sorts of horrible things. 

I chuckle as I write this because I have so many people fooled. If you met me on the street, you wouldn't believe that I'm the woman I am. You'd see my smile and think "She's so confident." We'd speak and you'd say to yourself, "She's so friendly." You may overhear a conversation with someone I know and think "She sounds so funny and intelligent." But it is the fear that you are missing.

You're not seeing the fact that it took me two hours to work up the courage to leave the house. You don't notice the white knuckles as I cling to my keys. You've missed the routine of parking in front of the store so I don't have to interact with many people. You don't see the fear behind the smile and the thought process of "Please don't let anyone talk to me!" And gods forbid if someone should reach out to touch me! 

I was in a math class in college two semesters ago. I chose to sit in the back of the class, in the far corner. My nose was in my book. My earbuds securely in my ears until class started. I was getting in my zone. Then, HE walked in. You know, the one guy who has a smile on his face constantly and has such a charismatic personality that you can't help but smile back? Yeah, I got that one. He'd walk into class everyday and he'd want to chat. Being the only other person in class, we'd visit. Then, he did the one thing no one does...he put his hand on my knee and squeezed. Inside, I was losing my shit. Outside, he saw nothing wrong. This continued until I grew used to his touch, then he took my hand. He'd hold it for a brief moment. He always had his hands near mine, fiddling with my binder, twirling my pencil, just being the outgoing man he is. One day, he walk into class, borrowed my notes, returned them and he hugged me! And all the negative thoughts, the panic attack, the "oh gods, he's touching me" thoughts went silent. He just held on. Tightly. I hugged him back and attempted to let go. He did the one thing I never dreamed would happen to me...he held on when I tried to let go. I worked so hard to keep my shit together. I was close to a panic attack, but I didn't have one...until later. I went home from class that day and cried. A panic attack set in when I realized what had happened...I let someone get close enough to feel the rolls of fat on my body, to smell the essential oils I wear as perfume, to smell my shampoo, to notice my breasts aren't perky and perfect. I was petrified that this man would touch me again (and he did...a lot!!!!). He was constantly touching. This was hard for me because I am a person who CRAVES touch. That physical brush of skin against skin, body across body...I yearn for it, but to have a complete stranger (and a beautiful one at that) reach for me first was both amazing and terrifying. 

I am aware that I have lost weight over the last two years. I buy clothes that fit me now and look nice. I don't buy muumuus and large patterned items. I don't dress in all black anymore. Stretch pants and yoga pants are for home use only. I wear jeans and skirts, bright colors, things that reveal and show off my assets. I'm very proud of myself...however, I am still overweight. 

I fear standing out. I don't want people to notice me, but they do anyway. I scurry along the sides of a room like those furry spawns of Satan I hate so much (mice). When someone speaks to me, I often find myself looking around as if I'm thinking "Are you talking to me? Why are you talking to me? Why do you think I should speak? "

I'm scared to allow my voice to be heard. I don't want people to look at me and think "How stupid!" I know I have a brain and common sense. I don't consider myself intelligent though the man from math class thinks I'm smart! 

I'm on a college campus of about 4,000 students on a somewhat daily basis and I rarely speak to anyone. I sit in class with my mouth tightly shut (unless I'm called on) and take notes. Every semester, I will have 1 or 2 people I will speak to on a regular basis, but once the semester is over, I don't talk to them again. In this electronic age, I am more content to keep my earbuds in and my nose in a book for fear of people thinking that I'm too old, too fat, too stupid, too something, to be there.

However, I'm trying. Mr. Charismatic Math Man has me talking to so many different people that I have no choice but to interact. In fact, because of him, I may have made a friend (or two) who I actually text from time to time. I owe this man a debt of gratitude and maybe a plate of cookies.

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