Fear and anxiety will make you feel alone in a world with scary people, at least that was how I felt.
I have anxiety disorder, along with a couple other disorders I’d rather not talk about at the moment, and so I am alone still… but I’m learning. I know what you must be thinking, there are millions of others just like me. But I am sometimes crippled with fear.
As far as friends go, most of them are on social media. But in reality, in a world not confined by the computer screen, I am afraid. I have few friends, maybe two or three of them, ones who know who I really am. And these are enough.
No, I didn’t want to go out. I didn’t like places and didn’t really care for people.
I know this sounds harsh, but understand, I was frightened of these things, it wasn’t so much a dislike. Deep down inside, I like to enjoy a movie or show every now and then. It’s just rare that I do so. But I learned something monumental while dealing with these issues. I learned that fear controlled me. This was no way to live. And so I set out to destroy fear’s hold on me. The first thing I had to do was understand what it was.
There is good and bad fear
The first lesson I learned was that fear isn’t just a bad thing. A healthy dose of fear can save your life. On the other hand, unhealthy fear can harm you. The difference, as I came to understand, was the way we learn to put fear to rest, and how the circumstances affect us.
Healthy fear jump starts the fight of flight instinct. It reroutes blood to the extremities, raises heart rate and increases breathing. This healthy fear occurs, lasts as long as the threat does and then disappears. With unhealthy fear or pathological fear, the scary feeling persists way past the elimination of the threat.
Fear and self-worth
I learned pretty quickly that fear and anxiety are linked to low self-worth. If you have low self-esteem, you may feel as though you aren’t good enough to perform a task, hence you will experience fear for no reason. As far as dealing with people, you may feel unworthy of their attention or respect. This may cause fear when going to social events. It’s starting to make more sense now, isn’t it?
It’s fear that you really fear
A startling revelation hit me one day. It wasn’t the people or the crowded places that I was afraid of. It was fear itself. I was afraid of being afraid, and I was afraid of having panic attacks, which I might add are horrible. It was a pattern really, an unending hell.
So, I took what I learned and started recognizing anxiety triggers which brought on fright. I come to terms with the fact that the triggers weren’t real, that fear had gained complete control over me and I was its puppet. Ouch, yeah, it was just that complex.
Toxic people feed your fear
I hate to say this, but some of the closest people to you will feed your fear. Toxic people, after learning about your fight with fear and anxiety, will play upon the emotions. Unfortunately, it’s hard to recognize this because they will act as though they are trying to alleviate the fear by trying to convince you of your irrationality.
While unhealthy fear is irrational, there is no positive aspect of being reminded of how flawed you are. Healthy relationships produce problem-solving without insults. Toxic people always place negative connotations on the one who is afraid. Recognize this and remove those people from your life. You don’t need that negativity.
Do not Focus on Fear!
Okay, here’s the trick, fear grows when you attack it. What I mean is being afraid does not respond to aggressive behavior. Instead, fear and anxiety get worse when you shout obscenities. You cannot focus on fighting fear, you must rise above this… unless, of course, you give it a name and put it in its place.
Making friends with the beast
Now, this might surprise you, but it works, so bear with me. Instead of being afraid of fear or attacking it, why don’t you become its friend as I did. When I was a small child, I had imaginary friends, two fo them to be exact. One was my mania and one was my darkness – I suffered from bipolar disorder with psychotic episodes. Fear and anxiety came naturally to me in my condition.
My imaginary friends would argue back and forth, hence my mood swings. Then one day a third mood appeared, and I recognized her immediately. She was my fear and anxiety. Manifesting as a small girl, my fear grew and grew into adulthood. I fought it, just as I fought my mania and darkness. Just like them, she got worse, and panic attacks ensued. So I became her friend, her confidant.
When I started the process of understanding, I started the healing in my life. I found ways to comfort fear and anxiety and find close acquaintances who were willing to understand the seemingly supernatural aspects of my illness. They helped me calm my fears over time.
My life on the upside
I cannot say I have totally conquered the little frightened girl inside me, that walks beside me and whispers to me. I can, however, say that she get’s quieter each and every day. Her little heart is healing and she’s finding a place of rest. As for the other imaginary friends, I’m still working on that.
Life without fear or very little of it is so much better than constantly being scared of anything and being manipulated. Being brave, learning your worth and taking it one step at a time will help you reclaim the life you deserve.
Keep trying, this is now who you are meant to be. You are meant for greatness!