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"Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid...of your own Fear"

Updated on August 13, 2016

What is truly scary in this world? Some people find fear in the smallest of living beings such as spiders or snakes. While others cringe at an unlikely event like being buried alive or a zombie apocalypse. For me, none of these things are frightening. Spiders can be smothered, snakes can be ran from, zombies can be decapitated, and a subterranean tomb seems very far fetched unless I angered a sadistic serial killer somehow. Personally, I try not to anger anyone that much.
For me, fear is found in the uncertainties of life. What will happen tomorrow? Will something happen that will change my life forever? Will my daughter disappear? Will my wife get into an accident? Only one entity knows for sure. All I can do is wait and pray that everything will be alright. Some of us, even the biggest of us, are afraid of the tiniest things that scurry around on the floor beneath our shoelaces. I have an irrational fear of bees. No, I'm not allergic, I'm just unsettled by something that I can barely see that possesses a stinger, a buzzing sound, and can fly 15 mph.
It's odd to think that now as an adult I am fearful of everyday life. Looking back on my past I see that every decade of my life was met with different fears, all of which were varying in severity. From age five to fifteen it was a severe anxious paranoia of spiders brought on by my uncle who thought it wise to allow a child watch “Arachnophobia” in the dark. That paired with the experience of a very large spider crawling on my chest as I awoke one morning in first grade didn't make for a very calm childhood. Then we come to age fifteen where my fear is more common and generic; a fear of people judging me for being different. Overly cautious psychologists would call this Social Anxiety Disorder, but I call it being a human teenager.
When I step outside of my body and look at my life, I find that my fears have evolved into more realistic ones. For example, my daughter growing up and marrying a real dirtbag that beats her, cheats on her, or worse; destroys her psychologically. I worry about my wife's safety from everyday accidents or just an off chance that the Sun decides to pick her to touch with skin cancer, eventhough I'm the one that never wears sunblock. My fears for myself are a little more egotistic. A fear that I will never truly be a successful writer, that I won't be appreciated until I've been dead for a thousand years, or even that no one other than my loving wife will read what I am typing now.
How do you deal with a fear? The most popular answer is to Face it. If your afraid of heights, go bungee jumping. If your afraid of large crowds of people, go on stage and sing. What if your afraid of the uncertainties of life, what do you do? It's simple really, it took me thirty years, but I figured it out. Just live your life. If you feel yourself thinking too much about hypothetical, just stop yourself. For me, when I worry I sit down and I write; that seems to calm me down. Remember this quote: “Don't take life too seriously, you'll never get out alive.” Or: “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.” Thanks for reading.


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