I’ve been holding back in sharing much of anything for a long time on any blog or social media outlets. But I am ready to admit something I haven’t admitted to many people.
I am afraid. I’ve known it for a while but I haven’t been ready to talk about it.
Fear is the reason I’ve held back from writing publicly for a long time. The fear has gotten substantially worse in the last two years. It’s the reason I used to blog regularly and all of a sudden I almost stopped blogging altogether a few times. It’s certainly the reason I comb every post time and analyze every single word time and again before hitting the “publish” button, even though I know there’s little reason not to publish anything I write. It’s the reason I post things once a month or so instead of a few times a week.
I have bipolar disorder with psychosis. While the deep psychosis only rears its ugly head every rare once in a while (and hasn’t in over five years now), I live in fear every day that maybe I am not quite as self-aware as everyone seems to think I am. I live in fear that maybe, just maybe, I will wake up one day (or skip a few nights of sleep) and be unrecognizable as the mother of my children. I live in fear that what few friends haven’t already skipped out on me will do so because of some random bad mood which I turn into a public rant. It has happened more than once.
I suspect the fear is another form of the psychosis itself.
The fear, though, is stifling all creativity within me. I am afraid of taking pictures despite the fact that I love photography. I am afraid of writing despite the fact that I’ve kept a journal now since I was ten years old. Writing, in particular, holds my psyche together even when all else is failing around me and I know this and yet, I am still afraid of even doing it…. much less sharing the results.
The fear is worse than the depression. I can write through depression, at least. Being afraid, I tell myself that my words aren’t worth putting down in any form whatsoever, regardless of who might or might not read them. It is less difficult with journaling, but with blogging, it has been near-impossible. And forget sharing posts through social media.
I know I have to say to myself, “Oh well, fear or not, I’m doing this anyway.” I’m working on doing just that.
It’s not fear of losing a grip of reality that really, really gets me. I am afraid of that possibility, but it’s a known potential event. I am afraid that nothing will change my trajectory and I will feel like I have accomplished nothing at the end of my life. I am a mother, yes, and I love that role. But I crave to contribute more to the world than my children and their accomplishments….
I fear that I am not enough. There, I said it. I fear that I am just not enough, with all my issues and baggage. I fear that because I do not have a regular life with a job and a routine and all, that I am somehow inferior. Intellectually, I know that this kind of thinking must be nonsense, but the fear….it’s the fear that gets me, every time.
I am afraid, but this post is my way of saying I won’t allow myself to be afraid forever. Life is too short to allow fear to take over so much of my energy as I’ve allowed it to do.