Fear of Being Afraid and Lack of Worry

It’s 5:14AM – I woke up around four with the usual suspicion that my days, hours and minutes of life were coming to an end. There comes a point where part of me understands what’s happening and is a tad annoyed, another part of me is just too tired to deal with it but has no choice, and then there is the part of me that is convinced I’ll die if I try to sleep in any other position except anatomical. Dare I say it? I’m tired.

I checked my pulse, finding some reason or other to be terrified, thinking about the rate being much too slow – and then much too fast, and then I was scared because I was starting to have a panic attack. I sat up, dissociated, read a chapter or two in my Bible, tried laying down, started to breathe normally. But then I felt a pain in my chest.

Oh, poo.

So now I really must be dying! Heaven help me I’m in my final moments! This is it! This is it! I’m going to die!

5 Minutes later

This is it! I’m going to die in horrid agony! Maybe it will be some rare form of atherosclerosis, or a teenage heart attack! Oh, goodness me! The chest pain! I must be having a heart attack! I’m going to die!

5 More minutes

Oh no! Early morning hunger pains! My systems must have gone cannibal by now – feeding off of my own adipose tissue for means of energy, destroying valuable insulation! I’m going to die from being eaten from the inside out!

If it sounds as though I’m making fun of my senses of impending doom – I am. I’m tired, I’m annoyed, I want this to stop. I am so completely worn out from being scared all the time, anxious about everything, cautious and worried and sensitive. I didn’t know it was even possible to be so logically aware of what is going on in my own head, and yet still fall victim to the absurd antics of my paranoid mind. But it is, and I do.

I considered calling or text-messaging Olga, I knew she wouldn’t mind at all, she would welcome it even. But I worried that as soon as I contacted her I wouldn’t be afraid anymore (ha – how do you like that, folks? I was afraid of not being afraid.) And then what? I knew I still would be concerned about my current state of, oh, say, living, but I still felt something hold me back. I can’t remember the last time I’ve reached out for someone in my fear. I often have dreams of having a protector of some sort. We’re often sitting in a train, looking out the window. It’s snowing and the sky is dark. The train and snow images are no doubt wish-fulfillment, my mom showed me a video she took from her train on the way to Paris and I longed to be there, it looked simply breathtaking. My protector is always wide awake, and I’m always lulling peacefully to sleep, not a care in the world because they will always be looking out for me, worrying for me. My head rests against the cold window and I watch the world pass by. And once I fall asleep I wake up to find myself very afraid. I worry sometimes of doing what my Aunt Carla did – she was lonely and had emotional issues, so she got married. So I wonder at times if I keep wishing for a real protector if I’ll end up rashly marrying the first guy that comes along with a ring and a bank account. Followed no doubt by an even more rash divorce. I don’t like the idea of having a large wedding. Honestly what I would love to do is grab several of my greatest friends and get hitched in a comfortable, simple dress with a bouquet of flowers picked out by my goddaughter (who has yet to be born – her name will be Chloe, and she will be Heather’s daughter.) And I’m doing that bit again where I just type up one thread of thought with another as they associate. But, I suppose, if you’re a new reader you should adapt – this happens frequently.

Alright, it’s nearing 6:00AM, and I do believe I am at last exhausted enough to hopefully get back to sleep before my panicked study binge in time for Anatomy and Physiology in a few days.




22 thoughts on “Fear of Being Afraid and Lack of Worry

  1. (I subscribed when I commented before, hope you don’t mind)

    This reminds me of what my mom went through exactly ten years ago, which I think was an attack of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety following severe urushiol exposure from poison ivy (her arms were covered in huge blisters, some inches long). For several days she was completely convinced she was going to die; I was 13 at the time and believed her for a while. She also became extremely worried about me to the point that she once broke into the bathroom to make sure I was okay. 😛 Have you been officially diagnosed with anxiety or something like that?

    • (Madame, I dare you to find me a blogger that would demand you off of their subscriber list 😉 )

      It sounds like she did have a temporary form of anxiety disorder – but certainly something specific (mine is generalized with specific agoraphobia and panic attacks) since she did have a sense of impending doom. On a semirelated note, when I was little, my mom would get awful scared if I were alone in the bathroom for any time longer than ten minutes.

      I haven’t seen a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist – but my self-diagnosis was confirmed with the recent results of my hair test that also uncovered hypothroidism. I’m a bit of a psychology buff so I first diagnosed myself about a year ago after my first attack 🙂

      • Haha! Thanks. I am a guy though, sorry I didn’t make that clear. 😀

        I see 🙂 That’s good that you were able to get an official diagnosis, I hope you’re somehow able to overcome it before long.

        I actually think that my mom has a permanent anxiety disorder which was dramatically worsened at that time – I know it sounds rash to think that someone who worries a lot has a serious disorder, but a couple of years ago she convinced herself that my dad was dangerous and likely to become violent, even though he’s never been violent at all, and left him. I haven’t confronted her about this because I hardly ever get to communicate with her as it is (she’s English and moved back there after leaving) – I just hope it won’t cause further problems in the future. I guess I ought to read up on this to find out what I should do.

  2. Hannah-Elizabeth, when I was a teenager I developed a morbid fear, not of dying, but of living FOREVER. I would lie in bed scared stiff, just trying to imagine how long FOREVER would be. I would be exhausted if I lived FORVER, I thought… This went on for years, but I do remember that by the time I was eighteen it had gone, never to be experienced again. I do think that you should see someone to help you as the fear is very real and the sooner you can get to enjoy your life again the better you will be all round. Please take my advice if you can.

    • adeeyoyo! I was extremely pleased to see you’ve stopped by my little blog again 😀
      What an extraordinary fear, some people lay awake at night (and indeed many people did in the days of Columbus when the hunt for the fountain of youth was near its peak) wishing to live forever. Batwoman is currently balancing (in a manner) the role of both doctor and therapist, I need to open up to her more- but honestly, I think I might find it easier if I spoke to an actual therapist, as you’ve mentioned…I have an odd idea of finding someone to be both friend and therapist, but I know this would end in disaster.

  3. chrysostom27 – (I must reply by this method due to my blog comments not allowing me to directly reply to your last comment) Terribly sorry! I shouldn’t have assumed one way or the other 🙂
    If her anxiety remained persistent for 6 months or longer then she would have fit the criteria for Generalized Anxiety Disorder – unfortunately, it’s not at all uncommon for people with this disorder to become paranoid (I mention this because of your reference of her leaving your father) even these days I still get suspicious and need to catch myself. I’m sincerely, profoundingly sorry if she is indeed inflicted with any of it, it’s a miserable situation not only for the patient but for everyone around them.

    • No problem 🙂 Thanks! Well, she seems happy enough now. She planned her leaving for at least six months, maybe much longer, I don’t know. She waited until just after I graduated from college; I lived with my parents throughout college, and she thought that my dad would go crazy after she left and I wouldn’t be able to safely live with him. She kept her plan to stay in England secret, and bought return tickets that she never intended to use. But her worries aside from what I’ve described have never been anything really serious, which is why I hope she’s okay apart from my dad. There was a combination of slight insensitivity on my dad’s part and oversensitivity on hers that made her increasingly unhappy over the years, but thankfully she’s always been warm and supportive to me about everything. 🙂

      …I guess I might as well add, Emily has been linking to stuff you’ve written for a long time and I once read how your dad had moved your family to pursue what he thought was a divine calling – oddly similar to my situation; for most of my life my dad was a pastor of one, then another dying church (the stress of being a pastor’s wife weighing heavily on my mom), and seven years ago we moved here so that he could go back to seminary and earn a doctorate in missions studies. He hasn’t had a real source of income since then, and he had a heart attack in 2006 which slowed his academic progress. The final year or two before my mom left, she was the only person working in the family, and her job was extremely stressful and upsetting to her, and she felt unappreciated. My dad has lost interest in the doctorate, but is attempting to do his dissertation this fall. He has a ridiculous amount of loan debt now that will probably be passed on to me, I guess. 😛 But your posts make me extremely thankful that my parents are good to me, understanding and supportive (or at least my mom is… my dad mostly just doesn’t talk to me about anything, and I’m okay with that). 🙂

      • My parents have started a couple of churches, it’s a difficult road with any involvement in the church. I’ve been to so many of them that I’ve seen a lot of corruption head-on, so I’m always a large skeptic when I listen to a new pastor (I’ve always loved John Piper and A.W. Tozer, though, I extremely recommend a sermon-medley or sorts called Revival Hymn, it features Tozer’s protege, Campell, and others. I believe it’s still on SermonAudio.com)

        That sounds like it must have been very stressful for you, I’m sorry you had to go through it. A lot of friction occurred because of my father’s impulsive actions -including our relationship being severed when I saw how he became when things got tough, when we needed someone strong and controlled and everything was a mess

        I’m certainly grateful to have met Emily, and I consider her one of my greatest friends 🙂

    • True 🙂 I’ve seen a lot of… strange things in the church. Thanks, I’ll have to look that up. I read Tozer’s chapter in which he says “Imagination is not faith,” it was really good.

      Heh, originally I started commenting because I thought I could be of some benefit to you but you’re giving me sympathy instead, that feels wrong XD But thank you! And that’s wonderful 🙂 Emily used to almost worship you, y’know (or she seemed to any way).

      • This is the way conversations should go sometimes, tables being turned and roles being reversed 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog!
        Emily has always been very encouraging to me, and has been a great friend, so the respect is mutual 🙂

  4. Keep reading your Bible, and take Denise’s advice and see a real doctor. I know this isn’t the time and place, nor do you have need for sermons, but resting secure in His finished works for us, will carry us through the worst of times. Jesus said “Fear Not” 365 times in the Bible.. I take one of those pills per day, and keep crying out to Him. If you get a chance read Psalms 107, it can bring great peace to read about ones self, and realize that we are absolutely only human, and certainly not the first one.
    God Bless You

    • I am frequently in The Word – but my malady stems also from a physical cause. Olga had me read a book called “Soul Psychology”, the man who wrote it (though he pushed psychology much too far into spirituality) mentioned looking at each situation as a shot to learn something. There is a reason I’m in the state I am, but I’ve yet to overthink it enough to come up with any philosophical rhyme or reason 😉 I’ll be sure to look up the chapter!
      Thank you sincerely for this 🙂

    • I’ve heard a lot of random remedies for recovering from an attack, it seems each person has their own sort of way – be it playing an instrument or reading a book. I’ll keep it in mind, nonetheless, though. Thank you 🙂

  5. I’ve suffered panic attacks, and whilst they’re not exactly the same, they are almost as unpleasant. I hope they pass and try to find your guardian, they exist, and they have nothing to do with religion…you could be any religion in the world, you’d still have a guardian angel. Yes, I know, I sound mad 😉

    • Not at all 😉 I remember the idea being tossed around not too long ago that each person does, indeed, have an angel watching over them, or being present in the life of each person. And even if it isn’t a heavenly being, I’ve seen angels in the form of lifelong friends.
      Thanks, Alannah, I loved your comment 🙂

  6. So much fear is exhausting isn’t it. You remind me alot of me when I was 17. I am now 35 and rarely experience the fear and anxiety of my youth. What worked for me was finally seeking professonal help. Finding someone I trusted and sticking with it. I had a lot of false starts but finally found a therapist that suited me about 5 yrs ago (this was after I decided not to use family or friends for therapy because I realized it wasn’t fair to put such a burden on them -plus I needed to become independent). Humour is what keeps me sane. Chin up young person.

  7. I feel strange liking your post, because I don’t really like you being afraid, but rather after all this time I find myself still captivated and well it sounds like writing this somehow helped you, just like reading it helps others. You are so strong, and I admire that. Even with all your fear you are still here, and still an inspiring writer, and extraordinary human being 🙂

    *hugs from across cyber space*

  8. Pingback: Revoke of the soul thristy « My Last Pen

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