Not Afraid: 2

At some point in life; one finds themselves utterly and completely alone; by purposeful isolation. But it also usually comes at a point when important decisions are to be made for one’s lives. The reality though, is that since no one else can make those decisions other than oneself, and whilst tacklinf sais decisions, which don’t usually come at the highest points of one’s life,the reality is that it is a road for only one person and each person has their own such road. Being alone undoubtedly, whilst navigating these life circumstances and aim to make the best decisions can make inviteone’s most crippling fears to the party. Well, why not?

Too often, I find myself in situations that continue to alter the course of my life; a curse of living in constant anxiety. From the fear of stepping on someone’s toes, of displeasing or disappointing someone (from very early); to the  realization that this fear induced isolation will ensure and has ensured that I remained alone, most of the time. Allow a couple years for such art to be mastered, and I am alone, all of the time (even in the thickest crowd or the company of those who I may say, managed to enthrall me). Essentially, my life became a constant state of that: wondering how to please someone, whomever mattered to me at the time and was in my life in some impressionable way. By the time I was a teenager, it was simply singling out all of the persons whom I had to please,which sadly became the outlook of my life and the work that I needed to do. Taking care of and providing for parents, close friends, every relative who felt that because they helped rearing me that I should somehow one day pay them back. It was a recipe for hell, which I believe gives me some authority to speak on the subject. It is hell on earth, living/ existing only to learn to take notes on how to please people. People, whom it was expected that should have invested time to guide you; only to find out they may have just kept you in their lives; tolerated you, only to use you in every possible way they could. As a young mind, when you find that your closest contacts expect more out of your young years than what you even expected of them, it really gets you thinking. But still, I had them, so I wanted to please them.

Again, it is at this age, after having spent years, being alone and afraid, that it rang home, that my most insistent purpose, was to serve as a constant and painfully persistent reminder of the worst moments of another’s life, a tragedy, disappointment a hindrance and an inconvenience. Only now, naturally, after those anxieties have been ingrained in me (no doubt) did I realise I was anxious for all the wrong reasons, for all my life. Now I realise that these wrong reasons never helped me, nor did they make me immune to any of the fears that I encountered in real life, that I would have spent time being anxious (scratch anxious, try terrified) of. No help was this constant terror, to thicken my skin to meet a world where it’s not just my parents and family (who come to think of it, had slightly more reason to); but strangers too, who would take their pot shots at trying to create their own expectations of me, shape me to their mold and dare to judge me, when I disappointed? 

I have now lamented graciously about being alone all these years, and it not having made me any less afraid of aloneness, and skip to what actually tipped the scale.

Action, not just Fear.

This brought to life my fears. Reality of life made my fears more than scenarios in my head, but scenarios that actually played out (no one is paranoid without some cause). In the action phase, I see people set me up to fail or as pawns to take their blame, people take advantage of my naivety, take advantage of the fact that I was impressionable. I have seen people use me for their own gain; but not before they soon sold me a twisted story about how I am better off doing the ‘right thing’, how it is even commendable, that I young think so mature. I would have seen me losing people I used to think meant everything to me, and surprisingly I am still alive. I would have seen me revisit some of my beliefs (some to my detriment, yes, but again I still live) and experience everything from sheer exhilaration to constant chastisement and being ostracized.

I chose my recourse to keep my anger to fuel the drive of eradicating the anxiety, as that drive was better than having to take a panic attack from thinking all sorts of scenarios.

Having now achieved the state of not being afraid, but angry instead, I will not say I chose the lesser of two evils, but it is a more or less comforting way, to navigate the harsh realities of simply living.

I know people with anxiety, more acute anxiety, and I know that sometimes they too wish they could choose their evil, of the two. To be fearless to make decisions, that even though they may have repercussions, they have the semblance of self,even if no one else agreed, to stand by their choices, boldly. That’s my place now.

I have been through my fair shair, and with my destination ahead, I can truthfully say no longer does anxiety born of fear, dictate my decision. Don’t triumph too quickly, there is still ways to go..

-ci’laene

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Author: cilaene21

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” ― Toni Morrison

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