I wrote these very words last week in an e-mail to a friend; I was trying to diagnose her stuck-ness. (In my other career apparently I'm a psychiatrist.) And, being extremely well acquainted with stuck-ness, and all 'round aimlessness, and its cousins procrastination and insecurity, I took a wild-ass guess at what might be lurking behind the scenes: Fear.
It's the thing we're all afraid of!
Is the whole world wandering around in a state of fear?
How did we get like this?? OK, how did I get like this?
And what exactly am I afraid of?
The usual things, I guess. Success. Failure. Pain. Ridicule. Not measuring up. Conflict.
But it all boils down to rejection. I'm afraid that I'm not lovable. Period. END OF STORY.
Which is kind of stupid (also afraid of looking stupid).
Most people are kind. Most people are not out to get other people, right? (RIGHT??!) Most people are too busy worrying about their own insecurities. It helps to remember this. It helps me remember that the important part of life is (to paraphrase St. Francis) not so much making sure you are loved, as making sure you remember to love.
Sigh. St. Francis. I know where to set the bar!
Some of you know I
I've spent my life being afraid, but I have also spent my life doing things in spite of my fears. It's a bold and brave way to live. It's really the only way to live.
I'm faced with some new things at the moment, and they are kind of scary. I find myself thinking more often about my own and others' mortality. I figure, if I'm lucky (or unlucky, depends on your perspective), maybe I have another 40 years here on earth. And I don't intend to spend them living in fear.
So, I'm tapering off Klonopin. I've been doing this for months, and I can tell you it's no picnic. After I decided to quit, I learned that Klonopin is highly addictive. So, yes, it turns out I'm an addict.
I'm experiencing, and have been experiencing, a lot of side effects from tapering, including racing thoughts, insomnia, impaired vision, obsessions, and this weird-ass thing where I can't quite feel my legs when I run—I think they call it depersonalization? I dunno. I also often feel like I'm looking at myself as an observer (don't I sound fun to be with??!)
(I'll add the usual disclaimer here that I am not suggesting that I have any idea what is right for anyone else when it comes to psychotropic drugs. I don't.)
I'm ready to experience the discomfort of fear and anxiety full-on. I know I'm a stronger person now, a much happier person now, than I was when I started taking this stuff.
All I can tell you is that this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to face. But, on the up side, I'm confident I can get through it, and I'm willing to take the time I need to get through it.
I'm ready to face life without a shield.
I'll let you know how it goes.