Here is an issue close to my heart, but a little taboo. Thought I’d share it because I have a feeling I’m not alone.
Fear. Fear has held its icy grip on me for quite some time now. But before I get into this, let me just say one thing. I have never been diagnosed with any kind of mental illness or the like. And I didn’t have a “rough” childhood either. So retrain yourself from pitying. What I am about to get into is mostly a personal problem.
I think I began life normally enough, healthy and strong. I was a large and vigorous baby. In early childhood I was outgoing, bold, and delightfully naive. My parents tell me that I used to greet strangers in a loud voice and even strike up conversation. People responded well because I guess I was cute and not too obnoxious. I don’t remember disliking people in those days, besides my arch nemesis, a kid named Mitchell. You know kids and their arch nemeses… but generally I was cheerful and easy going.
Then something changed when I was around eight. It wasn’t just that I leaned out and grew taller, something drastic was changing inside of me. I moved to a new school in a strange new place. Removed from my suburban dream bubble, I learned many things about life way too fast. For the first time, it was hard to make friends and become accepted. For the first time, through means that I cannot fully explain, I was beginning to see the dark side of my world. In school they taught us about drugs and why they were bad, and in the foggy, dirty streets of downtown, I saw just the tiniest fleeting glimpse of their influence. The experience was not constructive for me. As stupid as it seems to a rational person, I became afraid of drugs, even though I had no reason to be. I was afraid of their residue in public places, things like that. I also became afraid of alcohol, smoking, sex, everything that I was just beginning to understand. But mostly, I was afraid of myself, afraid of my own shadow. I was afraid that I had weaknesses and a great potential for evil. I was afraid that there was something wrong with me, and there was, but the problem was mostly the fear. I felt hopeless and unwell. Sure, there were still good days, and times when I could forget, but when I think back on this particular time in my life, I remember mostly the bad.
I started going to a Christian school in sixth grade. I was never opposed to the idea of God. I liked having a savior. So I started accepting God into my life, but it began quite superficially and progressed gradually. My fears still existed, and middle school was still hard because of social stuff, but I notice a change in my life for the better during this time. The insanity seemed to be waning, and my fears became more rational.
Today, my fears are much more rational than when I was eight years old, but still unjustified. I worry about what people think of me and my popularity. I am afraid that I give off an awkward vibe and people can notice it right away. I am also a little scared of people in general, though I usually like them and want them to like me back.
I admit to growing quite tense on the freeway. I am also a germaphob at times, but it kind of makes sense because I am always sick.
And, like everyone about the future, what I will do with my life, etc.
Why I need to worry about these things, I don’t know. It just proves how lousy I am at trusting God. Why does it matter what people think of me? Why do I let them determine my self worth?
Instead, I should thank God, because He is continually saving me from insanity. Where I would be without His hope and grace, I don’t know. Maybe in some mental ward screaming my head off. Instead, (for now at least), I’m here on WordPress or writing my novels, letting the angst of my soul and the quirkiness of my essence spill out on virtual paper, an outlet that is less frowned upon and counterproductive. It’s a good place to be. God is good, all the time.