What I fear. It doesn’t make sense sometimes. It’s like my mind finds the thing that I am terrified of and laughs at me. It taunts me and tells me I am going to die, I hurt someone’s feelings, I did something wrong or nobody loves me. These are real legitimate fears, and I don’t want them to be true. My mind is my enemy and sometimes I want to fight it hard. But that’s what I work on by conquering fears, by exposing myself to them in therapy. Fear is real, but it isn’t. That’s so strange, right? When you are afraid of something, it feels like there is something that you need to protect yourself from. I worry obsessively about what safeguards I need to take. If I’m dying, do I need to take more vitamins? That doesn’t make sense but my brain thinks it is helping me.
Stop it, brain! You are not helping. You are making me feel more out of control. I’m not into it. I’m not feeling you. I want to run far away from your nonsense.
I often imagine a world in which I was not afraid, an alternate universe where everything is pleasant and everyone loves me. I don’t have to worry about anything. It’s an idyllic universe where the trees are always green and the people smile all the time. They have chocolate in their pockets and it doesn’t melt. That’s the worst, by the way, when you think you’ve saved some chocolate and it’s completely not chocolate anymore.
There are moments when all I can hear in my mind are the repetitive thoughts that try to torture me. It’s distracting when I am trying to be a person who does things like work and parent my children. Still, I manage to put my brain armor on, take my medications, go to therapy and do things. Hang out with my friends, live life, and be as happy as I can possibly manage to be. Fear, it’s a weird thing, it comes on suddenly sometimes. It doesn’t give me a warning. It pops into my head out of nowhere. It says hello and then sees yelling in my ear, wanting attention like a child throwing a tantrum. I want it to stop screaming in my ear, but I can’t tell it to stop. So I let it be there and try to go on with my day.
People who aren’t afraid all the time, they probably won’t understand what I’m talking about. But it doesn’t matter. Those of you who get what it’s like to be scared of things that make no sense to other people, they’ll get this. They will know that your mind sometimes gets pleasure out of messing with you. And it’s unfortunate that we were born with brains that do that to us, but what can we do? Well, we put on our brain armor and we continue to fight. We tell our minds that they’re doing a good job trying to protect us from things that aren’t real.
Minds do the best that they can. Don’t yell back at your mind. Thank it, and tell it that you’re trying the best that you can too.