Seems like everyone lives in fear of something. We shape our lives around what makes us feel safe. Perhaps there are a few people who don’t feel fear, but they’re weird. (Don’t worry, it’s awesome to be weird.) So yes, almost everyone lets fear shape their lives to some extent, and I want to explore a couple extremes.
One of those extremes is me. Due to some imbalances of brain chemicals, I have several issues with fear. The most troubling is that I wake up almost every morning absolutely terrified. Shaking, unable to speak, sick with fear.
Yet despite that, I still get up every morning, get ready for work, drive thirteen miles, and start working. When you’re faced with potentially paralyzing fear, there are only two things you can do—become paralyzed, or grit your teeth and keep on going.
In addition to the morning terror, which often lasts several hours into the day, I am startled very easily. Especially by physical touch. If I’m not expecting it, I get really freaked out. Loud noises also sometimes leave me with a pounding heart for minutes.
I have social phobia. Just being in the presence of people makes me tense and frightened.
I’ve had a lengthy run-in with PTSD and shorter ones with feelings of agoraphobia.
All that to say, I am well acquainted with fear of the life-changing sort. But here I am with a full-time job, new friends, about to rent my own place to live for the first time in my life. At some point, the fear had been around for so long that it became normal, and now I just keep going in spite of it.