I Sleep with Fear

“I sleep with fear every now and then, but I always remind that possessive asshole he does not own me.”

The largest item to ever hold me back in life has been fear. I feared death, happiness, vulnerability, heights, and above all failure.

I feared death because my life was surrounded by it. Starting from a 5th grade age, so most likely 10, I experienced death. I didn’t understand it; I only knew it mean the sympathy of my teachers and a meeting with guidance. I only knew it upset my family, my brothers, my parents. It was like the first one caused the next and the next. Every year into college, I at least lost 1 person. Am I still afraid of death? Hell yes. But I learned to cope with my fear and rationalize it.

Death leads me to my fear of happiness. When dating my now husband, but then bf, in 8th grade. He quickly became my best friend. Oddly, the same day my grandmother passed away. She left. He came. I always felt it was a sign.

My life was never the norm & I know no one’s life is ever normal. But my life really wasn’t normal for someone growing up in a rich school who wasn’t rich. I didn’t want to be vulnerable to my bf. I didn’t want to open up to him about my personal life. I also did not want to get close to him.  I was scared of him using my flaws against me as “friends” had. And when I did open up to him, the fear of losing him was unbearable. I was afraid of letting my insecurities make me weak. I relied on Matt a lot. Too much. Any small fight that happened between us, I took to another level. He was my rock and the fear of my rock being really a shadow…I couldn’t handle it.

I had completely lost who I was while trying to hid myself from the world. I had only confided in Matt and therefore, for some reason, acted as he had power over me even though he didn’t feel this way. I made our relationship who I was. I wasn’t Beth. I was Beth and Matt. The couple who had been dating forever.

The epiphany scared me more than my vulnerability or my fear of happiness. I clearly wasn’t happy if I didn’t have an identity. So I told my fears to suck it and I started defining myself.

I no longer let other’s opinions create who I was. I decided to do the things I wanted to do and embrace who I was.

I have always been a writer and therefore, my first step was truly to write down everything I could about myself and ONLY about me.

I was always afraid of heights (knees weak on the second story) so what did I do? Take rock climbing. I learned to fall. I learned to catch others. I learned this with one of my best girl friends from high school. I still yelled down to her, “I’m going to fall!” Baby steps right?

With this same friend, I took a pole dancing class because well, I wanted too. My other friend at the time was not ALLOWED too because of her bf.

It is a workout class; not some hoe down.

Soon seeing others not being themselves, just pissed me off. I wanted to free them. I wanted to break their chains.

I began lifting. I excelled. I had accepted my fear of Death. And told that bitch to take a hike.

Now, as I piss and moan about being scared to squat, I look back at the HUGE fears I did over come….and I give myself the side eye.

Really Beth, this is your new fear?

In my defense, I did let 200lbs roll off my neck giving me whip lash as if I had been in a car accident. And being my stubborn self, I did not go to the doctor’s until after work the next day. I hate taking time off or accepting I’m hurt, so I push myself aka

Tore a ligament- ran at the penn relays

Fracture foot- waiting 4 months so I could compete in bikini

Sprained an ankle- next day was my wedding so I just stop doing cardio for a few months…

Sprained another ankle- run 5 miles twice of it, wait a few weeks, then go

Part of this craziness of the ankles and ligament was due to having a problem with eating. I don’t say an eating disorder because I never sought help. I’d lie to my doctors when they asked about my dramatic weight changes. My parents would admit I had a problem. My husband was ready to call someone. But any way.

REALLY! You have been eating health now for 4 years of your life! You don’t fear food. Thoughts exist, but I punch them face down in the dirt.

And so, I went into this post to write about how I was afraid to squat, yet I am highly motivated to kick that fear where it hurts. Instead, I realized I have beaten so many fears that are bigger than this. This fear is a fear I enjoy to have. Do I believe part of the fear is failure? Yes. To me, failure is like death. You don’t lose all fear of it, you cope and live in spite of it.

I am healthy.  I am happy. I am me.

This fear is motivating. I sleep with it now. I feel it from time to time, but it too will be demolished.

Fear does not own me.

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