I want to write about the next events of my journey from being married to being… well, not married. But I want to talk a little bit about fear before that.
Fear is that dark, looming presence that goads anxiety into tightening its grip on you. You think you’ve conquered your fear? Well, how about anxiety? One always follows the other around.
Fear is that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the one that tells you that if you do this or that, you’ll end up regretting it. You’ll be alone. You’ll be scorned. You’ll be blamed or tormented or laughed at. For every earnest fan and glowing review, you’ll get shit on by some troll, or read a bad review about something you were very proud of, crushing you. How could you do better? You tried your best.
Speaking of, fear is also knowing that some bad things inevitably need to happen in order for you to be successful: If you never act in spite of your fears, you’ll never succeed. But once you try to succeed, you open yourself up for people to tear at the things you’ve poured your heart into, shredding them into unrecognizable scraps of fabric from the quilt you lovingly stitched together. And you open yourself up to the possibility of failure, which is a fear that holds far too many people back from chasing their dreams.
Fear is not knowing how to deal with these things. And Anxiety is worrying yourself to the point of inactivity. Bitterness seeps in, poisoning your creativity, your passion, your love. That dark cloud settles, just as if you were a real-life Eeyore, and seems to follow you wherever you go. You don’t know how to get away. A new enemy has reared its head: Depression.
Depression locks Fear and Anxiety together in a marriage of destruction. Gone are the days of doing things for fun, of enjoying yourself simply because you’re glowing in the fervor of happiness. Depression isn’t just the absence of that happiness. It’s been forged over a long period of time, feeding off your fears, your anxiety, your shortcomings and perceived failures. It isn’t built from nothing, or the lack of something better. It’s an incredible force to overcome, because it’s a unique combination of your own personal worst nightmares.
I am conquering my fear of opening up. Of writing and creating, of criticism, and mostly of myself. I defeat myself before I begin, so I don’t have to suffer at the hands (or mouths, or words) of others. Depression is an enemy made from within. I can’t expect anyone but myself to slay the beast. And I’m certainly sick of enabling it, so it can continue to feed Fear and Anxiety.