Monday, 21 May 2018

My Biggest Fear Is Fear Itself

Fears and phobias are a funny old thing. Using 'funny' in the sense of horrific and absurd. Some folks are mortally afraid of moths. For others it's clowns. Neither bother me. Cockroaches, on the other hand: EEEEEEEEK!!!

I've blogged about my fears and phobias before. They're all fairly generic: heights, public speaking, the dentist, and of course, cockroaches. Shudders. I know I'm not alone here. Many people fear these things.

These days, I would have to say, my BIGGEST fear is something happening to my children. A close second is getting cancer again and not being around for my children. But even after saying this and knowing it to be true. I truly fear these things. I realise there's a bigger everyday fear that's always lurking.

Fear itself.

Yep. I have an anxiety disorder. My biggest fear is fear itself. This is tremendous fun. Said no one ever.

The thing is, even though I once had a pathological fear of childbirth, I faced it. Hearing that you have a cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the most frightening things ever. But I got through it.

Now I am left with the fear of it happening again. Even though my current reality is that I'm cancer free and well, the fear still intrudes.

Anxiety is so strange. At times you can pinpoint the triggering thoughts, other times it just pounces out of nowhere. Of course I've learnt all about the fight or flight instinct and how anxiety is necessary for human survival.

Additionally, my understanding is that being autistic means I am wired to be more prone to or predisposed to anxiety. So I decided to  name it Agnes and make an uneasy truce with her. I don't like her, but I understand why she exists.

There's a theory I've heard of that says fear can either mean Fear Everything And Run, or Face Everything And Rise. Don't you just love inspirational quotes? Yeah, me neither. But I have to admit, when I first began having panic attacks many years ago I often did the former. Until I realised: I don't run.

I avoid my fears and problems, sure. But running is stupid.

Seriously though, now I can say I (mostly) do the latter and face things. Sort of. Kind of. Sometimes.

What I mean is, the fear doesn't evaporate but I let Agnes tag along and I tell her what to do not vice versa. Occasionally she still manages to get the better of me. She's a freaking bitch so I expect that. Dammit.

Lately I've been listening to a lot of this true crime stuff which seems to be the thing these days. This is veering slightly off-topic, but I have a point so bear with me. It seems like an odd thing to be interested in, given my anxiety and self-confessed aversion to blood, guts and gore.

However, it's not that part of it that intrigues me. It's the psychology behind the crime or behaviour. How one individual can come from a tragic background and become a criminal, while another rises above it. The other day I heard a psychologist explaining what a sociopath is like. Supposedly they not only lack empathy but it goes further into complete callousness. According to this psychologist, sociopaths also don't experience stress or anxiety like others do.

In a weird way, understanding this helps me accept the things I dislike about myself. I don't like my anxiety, aka Agnes, but if I never felt it whatsoever, then I'd be a sociopath. Or something. Does that make sense?

I mean, obviously I'm just a little self absorbed or I wouldn't have a blog all about myself (ahem), but I'm not a sociopath. 

So yeah, my biggest fear is fear itself. And I'm okay with it. 

But anyone who's okay with cockroaches? PSYCHOPATHS. All of them. I don't need a psychologist to tell me that. 


What is your biggest fear?

Monday, 7 May 2018

The A - L Of Me

A is for Autistic.  I was diagnosed with ASD (formerly called Aspergers) at age 40. Also, I'm pretty awesome. Amazing, astounding, and everything. Okay, I'm fairly average, but the other a words sounded more impressive. Sniff.

B is for bookworm. I am one. I should probably mention my boys, too. They're the Best. 

C is for cakies, chocolate and Carpenters music. These are a few of my favourite things! As opposed to girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes. Not that I have anything against the latter. I just prefer the former.

D is for dogs. I'd call myself a dog person. I'm also a chronic daydreamer. And utterly delusional delightful. Let's not forget about that.

E is for enigmatic. I am a puzzle even to myself. A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Or a middle-aged woman, wrapped in a dressing gown, inside a ramshackle suburban house. Details.

F is for FOOD. I love it. I'm also extremely forgetful. But I never forget to eat, so that's something.  Also, I am FABULOUS.

G is for groovy. Clearly I am. Totally hip and cool and cutting edge.  Also; GORGEOUS. And; grey. I let my hair go grey and I love it. Silver foxes FTW!

H is for hermit. I fear I am becoming one.

I is for introvert. See above.

J is for January. The month I was born in. During?

K is for Karen. Carpenter, of course. My idol. No explanation necessary. You either get it, or you don't. And if you don't, I can't help you. I mean, we can't all have exquisite taste, can we?

L is for the library. The only place I go to these days. See above. Plus, I once pretended to work in them decades ago.

L is also for Lafferty. It used to my name before I was married. This is frightfully fascinating information, I think you will find.

L is also the last letter for now.  Lovely.

Stay tuned for The M - Z of Me. Coming soon!

What is your A-L?