Saturday, 22 July 2017

anxiety and fear

In my head, anxiety and fear are two completely different things. Anxiety is a feeling that creeps up on you, that get lodged in your chest and just sit there and fester. You might not always know the reason for it, or you might know the trigger but not why it makes you feel so bad. It can also be that thing that keeps you awake in the middle of the night or that suddenly just hits you right when you are about to fall a sleep. Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Did I remember to do that? What will happen now? Am I sick? 

I've been anxious a lot in my life. When I was younger I had anxiety about getting infected by parasites or getting blood clots in my legs. Bad enough to sometimes keep me up at night. But mostly I was anxious for stupid reasons that ended up not feeling all that bad the next day when I woke up. As a grown up, most of my anxiety have been related to my work. I've been anxious about making mistakes, that I don't know as much as I should or that I have forgotten something important. The past three years or so though, even this anxiousness have abated as I started to feel more comfortable in my position and with my tasks. And obviously I don't have any of those worries now! Most reasons for me being anxious these days are a light version of social anxiety, probably caused by the fact that I don't see people that often. Sometimes I just want to hide at home and not meet anyone.

But then we have the fear! And even though I have been a quite anxious person, I haven't really been that afraid. I'm not particularly afraid of being alone in the house at night. I can walk by myself late in the dark without feeling scared. I'm not totally comfortable with heights and wouldn't do a bungy-jump or skydive, but not in a way that influences my daily life. I'm comfortable with public speaking and I really enjoy trying new adrenaline-filled activities and sports. I even got over my long lasting and paralyzing aerophobia and can now fly around the globe without breaking a sweat. I'm not exactly fearless, but absolutely not fearful!

Funny though, the few things that really scare me now are still related to traveling. Because leaving home for a longer period makes me a bit scared. Not in a disabling way, but enough for me to start to worry after a few days away. So, what I am afraid of? It has all to do with the cats! I am afraid someone will break in (not an unrealistic fear here, sadly) and hurt or steal them (also not unrealistic, crazy how it might sound). I am also afraid there will be a fire and that they will die. I know they are "just" cats, but they are also my family and totally irreplaceable. We always have people coming to our house to feed and play with them several times a day when we travel, so the chance of something happening when we are gone isn't big, but it is there. And that is scary.

I'm also terribly afraid of octopuses, and always have been. Devil-spawn.

How about you, what are you afraid of? Clowns? The sea?

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