Habitual Mood

Fear is the mind killer

If literary fiction has taught us anything, it's that an epiphany can strike at any moment. For instance, I had one the other night while watching House Hunters International. As is often the case, the house hunting couple were a study in opposites: she was up-tight and anxious, whereas he was a relaxed-seeming fellow who declared that he wasn't scared of anything. I don't know if that's literally true; he's probably scared of something. But I don't think his attitude was feigned: he came across like someone who was comfortable in his own skin, and able to cope with the many challenges of moving to another country.

Watching this, I thought: why aren't I like that? I don't mean exactly like that specific person, but like that at all. Because, at this point, I live in a constant state of anxiety and fear. It fluctuates in intensity, but it's always there. I'm even fearful of posting this, just as I was fearful of starting this blog in the first place. What if nobody reads it? What if someone does read it? I've never gone in for the confessional mode, but it seems disingenuous to simply never mention the mental illness that is one of the salient features of my life.

(A while ago I kept a blog for an entire year and didn't tell anything about it, I just posted my dumb jokes and pretended I had an audience. I didn't want an actual audience, because the dumb jokes felt fraudulent: in reality, I was going through one of the most brutal depressive episodes of my life. The blog was a bit of play-acting, an attempt to convince myself that I was the "normal" version of myself I wanted to project. It was an extremely unsatisfying activity, but perhaps it served some kind of purpose.)

The thing about my HGTV-induced epiphany is that, of course, I already knew that I was a frightened little mole man, retreating further and further into his burrow with each passing day, only to find that he's also frightened of the bloody burrow. But there's a difference between knowing something and properly perceiving it, or acknowledging it.

As I've written this, I have gone back and forth about posting it. Posting it could be a step towards not being frightened. Or it could be nothing, a meaningless act. It's just a blog post. Maybe I need to stop overthinking at least this one small thing.

TL;DR: Afraid of everything; want to be less afraid; maybe blogging will help?

#mental health #personal