I am staying up way later than I should be, but this subject has been gnawing at me for days and I wanted to talk about it. I shocked myself on Sunday by expressing something out loud that I had barely acknowledged to myself mentally. I was having a conversation with one of my closest friends after we had been out to see a movie and the words just spilled out of me. I was a bit shocked that I was finally putting words to what I have been struggling with since I was 18-years-old (fuck, that is 22 years of this shit and that seriously makes me cry). Fear holds me back at literally every move I make. Fear has been holding me back for so long that I sabotage myself without even realizing it. Fear has made me its filthy little bitch for far too long!
This all started in October or November of 1991. I was 18 and had been living on my own for the first time for about two months when I had a seizure. I actually had two seizures; the first one happened when I was alone and I thought I just passed out and hit my head. The second happened when my roommate was at home and her dog woke her up and took her to me. Shit, talking about this is making me have a mini anxiety attack! I went to the ER the next day and long story short, the seizures were deemed idiopathic (which means they don’t know why they happened), and I was put on seizure medications. I have lived my life since then terrified that it will happen again. That fear was greater when I was younger but even after 22 years and having been off the seizure medication for almost 18 years, I am still afraid of having another terrifying, life threatening seizure.
I don’t want any of you to think that I actually obsess about this because I don’t, any more. But if I am reminded of it by seeing someone have a seizure in public or on TV, or hear someone talking about seizures I do get scared. Really what the takeaway here is that this solidified the fact that bad things can happen to me in my young mind. The day my cousin woke me up and told me I had a seizure was the day that I stopped living the carefree existence of a teenager. Sure tons of people live with seizures… I grew up with several epileptics (even a cousin of mine!) but I had gone my whole childhood seeing those things happen to other people and not me.
I am not going to do a fucking laundry list of every tragedy I have had in my life but I will tell you that for some reason having that seizure made every tragedy I experienced before that resonate with me in a more personal and terrifying way, and it made every tragedy after that a huge emotional blow. The point here is that I have held onto that fear for over 20 years and it changed the way I thought about things. It changed the path I chose and it changed the woman I became. Not all of that is necessarily a bad thing. The fear kept me from doing a lot of drugs and heavy drinking at a time in life when I lost a lot of friends to their addictions (literally and figuratively). I could have been one of them (although I doubt it, I never partied with the same gusto my friends did). But what this fear has done is ensure that I poison myself with “what ifs” every fucking day of my life. I ruin moments for myself because I am busy playing a terrible movie of what might be happening to one of my loved ones elsewhere because I am daring to think of myself and have a good time. It is sick.
I am going to make a strange leap so just hang on for the ride a little bit… I think it will make sense when the crazy train pulls into the station to let you off. I don’t think that having that seizure would have affected me like it did all of those years ago if I had believed for a single minute that I deserved to have good things happen in my life. OK, fucking relax… I am really not going to psycho babble, pity party; blame my parents town… well not much anyway. I am only stopping there long enough to acknowledge that my upbringing was by no means perfect and just like anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional family; the way that I think of myself was programmed by the people who raised me in the situation I grew up in. Like I told my son the other day, we all have our own weird shit that we pack around with us, it is what we do with it that really matters. So yeah, I may have some shit to deal with in that arena. Now let’s get the hell out of this creepy, finger pointy place.
So big picture… As you all know I have been making some pretty big changes in my life and am planning to make more. I quit smoking five months ago (in five days), I have been forcing myself to get out and do things and see people even though I sometimes don’t want to and am working at shaking off a nasty depression. I am wrestling with some health issues but hope to have them resolved soon and my next phase is losing the weight I have been holding onto for so long. I also have a lot of professional goals set for this year. I am trying really hard not to jump in feet first and do everything at once but I am pretty sure this big depression has a lot to do with the fear I wrestle with, and I can see the fear sneaking in and holding me back in ways that are not so subtle any more. The biggest??? I tell myself that everything has to be perfect before I can make changes in my life. Meaning that I have to have a spotless house to start getting serious about weight loss so I end up not feeling well enough to clean… I tell myself I have to feel comfortable in my own skin and the way that I look before I can be successful at a career, or have a fun and inspiring social life, but if I can’t bring myself to clean how can I lose weight and feel comfortable with myself… you get the idea? See the pattern. It is all very obvious now that I have become aware of the thoughts but these are not things I have been aware of on a conscious level in the past.
I am not sure how I am moving forward on this one. I am aware of the changes that need to happen. I am still under the impression that I just need to do the work and it will get easier as I get into new habits but think I may need a little help undoing this 22 year thought process. This might be something I need to seek some professional help with for sure. I am going to sit with it a few days and see where this takes me but again, I have been feeling that I am unworthy of success and happiness and have been terrified of losing someone I love, or something bad happening to me or someone I love if I spend too much time enjoying myself or thinking of my own needs that I might be too deep in the fuck salad to dig my way out alone. I will let you all know what I decide.
OK, get the hell off my train of thought now! I really do need to get to fucking bed before I screw up my insomnia reprogramming schedule. Hopefully this load off my mind will help me get to sleep. OH! Speaking of insomnia! I am making myself a note right now so I remember to tell you about the crazy ass melatonin sex dreams I have been having the next time I post! Holy shit balls!!!!