Fear. It grips us all. The bravest of us, those who do not think twice to jump off a multistory building with nothing but a strap around their hips, even those fear. Right now I’m sitting here typing all these words, trying my best to write and not think about the fear of being judged and that’s how I decided to write this in the first place. To try and get over my fear and possibly make someone else realize that to fear is absolutely okay. May it be fear of heights, deep waters, creepy crawling cockroaches (yes, they scare the living crap out of me), spiders, darkness, the list goes on and on. If you go ahead and google phobia then there is a word for fear of almost every existing thing out there, living or non-living, rational or irrational. Then of course phobia is a stronger word associated with fear to which not all of us may relate. But if you do, then it’s absolutely okay.

I know people say the only way to deal with something you fear is to go head on with it. To all my fellow “Friends” fans out there, one of those times when Joey sounded all wise, he said to Chandler, “Face your fear. You have fear of heights? You go to the top of the building. You’re afraid of bugs? Get a bug. In this case , you have a fear of commitment. So I say you go in there and be the most committed guy there ever was”.Simple right? I know in reality it is definitely not that simple, but the gist of it remains the same. You want to get over a fear of something, you gather every ounce of courage from that part of yours which wants to run the other way, and do it. If you’re someone who likes to write, but fear that keen scrutinizing of your thoughts by everyone who reads it is scary and feel like your words are there bare in front of people, free to judge or if you’re someone who dances, does plays or anything which leaves you there in front of the world for display. All I believe is, you are the only person whose opinion should truly matter to you. If you are happy with your piece of art then go ahead and show it to the world, accept that judgement with a smile because just like them, I’m sure we’ve all had our share of opinions about anything and everything. I’m not asking you to get an adrenaline rush right now and run through your door. Take your time. Your fear is definitely not going anywhere and neither are you.

Such fears are rather easy to deal with and as long as you stay away from it,  your little bubble of fearlessness is safe. Then are those fears which we do not want to admit or acknowledge. The fears that are a part and parcel of the mental illnesses. The fears that are rooted deep within us and developed without our knowledge. These are fears that have wrapped their dark shadows around us which no one else but you can see. These are fears that make you want to scream for help on the inside but simultaneously have a smile on your face. The fears of being drawn in by depression, stifled by anxiety or fear of succumbing to those suicidal thoughts in your head. These are real fears, the kind that need to be tend to with much more care than a physical injury. The ones that must be dealt with utmost sensitivity. These aren’t things we share with the people around us, because we fear they wouldn’t understand, they would laugh it off and say you are just over reacting, say you’ve just had a bad day so sleep it off. They do not know that it hasn’t just been a bad day. But sometimes it’s just a phase and a bad day, you’ve just read too many posts on the internet about symptoms of such things and what not. And other times it’s not just a bad day, it’s a bad week, a bad year, many bad years.  It’s takes a lot for someone to understand these fears, so what do you do when your cry for help has been dismissed as a phase? You fight like hell to survive. It’s a process and doesn’t happen in a day because each time we fear, there’s a mind numbing, jittery feeling, like when you learn to swim, your legs shiver because the water looks deeper than it should and you stand there looking at it like there are sharks ready to make you their Sunday meal. But once you get into that pool and touch the water, slowly but steadily that fear goes away. It’s a rather complex process when you have to deal with all the emotions in your head. Some days it’s hard to just get out of bed because it’s exhausting to deal with it. You stress eat because it makes you feel okay for the time being. When you have to get up knowing you have to give that presentation in front of your class. To be nervous is normal. But for some of us, this fear takes over the normalcy of life and affects everything we do. Sleeping, talking to people, eating, everything. It’s not just a day with this fear, it’s like that presentation every day. Presenting yourself every day.  All you can do when you are going through all of this, is make an effort to just breathe. When it gets the better of you, you calm down and breathe. Make up your mind to get through that hour, that day. And there is absolutely no shame or harm in getting help. The people in your life may not understand because they do not know how it feels. But there are people who do. The networking sites that we have all around us have so many forums where you can get help. There are books that can help you and the ability of these written words should never be undermined. Go out and take a walk, run, because when you do, your body releases endorphin which make your mental health better.  As I said it’s a process. I’m not here to give guidelines on how to be. All I’m saying is, it’s okay. The one thing that you can be sure of when dealing with all of this is that when you do come out of it, which you will, you will be stronger than ever. You will have a newfound respect for life.  So do not shy away from your inner demons. Get them out of their lurking corners and kick them out. You are not alone with your fears, everyone fears, just that everyone shows it differently, the only thing to remember is you just have to face them one moment at a time.

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