I live my life in an almost constant state of fear and anxiety.
I'm scared of spiders.
I'm scared of heights.
I'm scared of the dark.
I'm scared of what may be lurking beyond my scope of vision, beyond my reach, what can see me but I can't see.
I'm scared of water. Deep water.
I'm scared of never finding my way back to the surface, of drowning, of tumbling, of being crushed by waves.
I'm scared of not being able to breathe.
Scared of my lungs collapsing in on themselves, of the air escaping my throat and never coming back.
I'm scared of being upside down.
I'm scared of the world tumbling around me, or of tumbling within the world. I'm not sure which. It's one or the other, or both. I'm scared of my head being below my feet.
I'm scared of falling, and even more so of landing.
I'm scared of thunderstorms, and rain, and hail.
Even though I love the sound it makes against my window. I'm scared that it won't stop.
I'm scared that the thunder and lightning will strike me down. I'm scared of the golf ball sized hail I once faced, and thought I would never face again, because I thought I was going to die.
I'm scared of dying.
What if there's nothing after death? What if there's something? I'm scared of oblivion. I'm scared of not being remembered, or worse, being remembered for the wrong reasons.
I'm scared of being scared.
I'm scared of what other people think of me.
I'm afraid to open up to people about my fears because they might judge me, or see me as a coward, or say my worries are irrational. I know my worries are irrational.
I'm scared of parties.
I'm scared of meeting new people, and having to make small talk, and introducing myself.
I'm scared of being ignored.
And of being noticed.
I'm scared of disappointing people.
Or disappointing myself.
I'm scared of telling jokes.
What if they fall flat? What if people don't laugh?
But despite all of these fears, I am brave.
Or rather, I am brave because of all these fears.
"You cannot be brave without fear." – Mellody Hobson
“Bravery is not the absence of fear. It is looking fear in the face and still taking the step.” – Amanda Cook
So yes, I'm scared, but every single day I face at least one fear. Every single day I meet someone new, and I make small talk, even though it frightens me.
At night when I sleep, I turn off the lights, and face the darkness, and survive.
And in the morning when I wake up, I hang off the edge of my bed with my head below my feet, just to prove myself a point.
And when I go to the beach with friends, I swim just are far out into the ocean as they do.
And when I'm up somewhere high, I look down.
I face my fears constantly because I am fearful constantly. I may always be scared, but I am always brave, because I am always doing something that frightens me.
I am worthy of the word "brave"
because although I'm afraid, I refuse to let fear govern my life.