Oh fear, you finicky old bugger.
We have a love hate relationship, I must say.
On one hand fear has driven me to accomplish some of my biggest dreams.
The fear of being who I was, the fear of what was actually going on for me, the fear of my wretched thoughts and the fear of asking for help were the biggest driving forces behind many of my travels and indeed the reason I moved to Canada from Scotland, the country I now call home.
To me, fear was a harsh but beautiful motivation to find myself and on the other hand it often crippled me into devastating depressions. I would move continent, country or city only to be consumed by the thoughts that pushed me to move in the first place.
And maybe the good and bad can coexist like that.
Maybe if I hadn’t been influenced by the fear to pack up and hit the road, then I would never have reflected on these drastic moves and in turn asked for help.
Maybe fear was what I needed to find myself.
In the early days of my recovery journey from Bipolar 1 disorder, I endured an ocean of panic attacks.
That fear? Well, that didn’t help one bit. It pushed me to do nothing but withdraw, cry and on occasion throw up in bushes.
That’s the kind of fear I don’t wish on anyone. The fear that comes with physiological consequences. The pounding heart, the sweats, the shakes, the lip biting, the nausea, the restless leg, the cramps, the dizziness.
That to me, is the ABSOLUTE WORST fear. The one that can’t be reasoned with.
But if that fear wasn’t so impactful, so life altering and completely gut wrenching, would I have ever looked inward?
Would I have ever attempted to conquer ‘the fear’?
I’m honestly not sure what my life would look like without fear.
Maybe it would have been a field of sunflowers and dancing under the moon, but then maybe I’d be doing those things with half a heart. With no real concept of the conscious, the trauma and the beauty that grew from fear.
As I sit writing this, reflecting, I’m finding myself grateful for fear.
The raw energy that has come from sitting with those disturbing emotions.
The life interruptions, the all consuming tornados of fear that I endured all led me to the here and now.
And maybe I wouldn’t change that after all.