During my perimenopause, I became a pretty negative person. As a result of my near constant pain, I grew resentful. I became numb to emotions like happiness and optimistic outlooks like hope.
I’d wake up every day afraid to be optimistic for fear of being rewarded with a headache later. As if the Universe was listening to me and would punish me for that optimism.
Why should I be afraid to begin a new day on a positive note? Why didn’t I believe I deserved a pain-free day?
I was terrified of being in pain. To be honest, I was terrified of everything and I didn’t know how to stop myself from suffering.
Therapy wasn’t even touching the fear I held inside of me. I would politely go along with all my therapist was suggesting, but I was still overwhelmed.
By the time my five-year stint in perimenopause was over, I almost didn’t want to live any longer.
Fear has haunted me my entire life.
The summer before my freshman year in high school, I was terrified of going to band camp because it meant sleeping away from home for an entire week.
As a result, I didn’t sign up and missed my first year of marching band, which I had been training for since fifth grade.
I attended community college part-time at night from the age of 24 until I was 37. After all of my hard work, I was accepted into a competitive nursing program, but I declined because I was terrified of the intense clinicals. I was afraid that as a single mother, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the routine.
As a result, I earned an Associate of Science degree. Do you know what jobs you can acquire with an Associate of Science degree? I can’t either.
I was invited to attend a meet and greet in New York City with the cast of the Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, during its second season. It was a chance I got through Netflix because I was writing monthly pieces for them. They would’ve covered my hotel, airfare, and meals. However, I declined because I would have had to travel alone.
As a result, I saw fellow writers who were bold enough to make the trip, mingling with celebs, writers, and literary agents on my social media feeds. If I wasn’t so afraid, I too could have mingled with other writers and made some new friends. Perhaps I was destined to attend this New York City trip in order to meet my future literary agent.
But I declined because I was afraid to be alone in a new city.
These were things I had specifically requested in my life, and I was turning them down.
Throughout my life, I’d questioned, “Why isn’t anything good happening to me?” I was under the impression that all of the good things were occurring to other people.
But now that I am sitting here, I can see all the good things that have happened to me. I was simply too afraid to do them.
I used to think that most of my headaches were caused by hormones, but now I’m wondering whether they were partly caused by fear.
Maybe I hid the shame of my fear and because of the shame, my heart may have broken a little.
I guess my heart also crushed witnessing so many things I’d always wanted crumble beneath the weight of fear.
Since beginning my soul homework in September of last year, I have mourned the losses of the things I wanted to accomplish but couldn’t due to fear. I finally had to let go of the burden of those losses.
I’ve learned how to incorporate mindfulness into my daily life. Learning how much of what my thoughts previously told me was actually my ego lying to me. I’m less afraid because I’m living in the present rather than in the past or future. Present-moment thinking, mindfulness, is the best thing to come out of all of those books I’ve read so far.
Meditation is the other.
My soul homework came into my life to help me overcome my fear. I believe it arrived when I most needed healing to happen- during the start of menopause, which also happened to be during a pandemic.
Do I have good timing or what?
Healing does not imply that my fear will vanish completely. I needed to find a solution to cope with my fear. To sit next to it and perceive it as a companion rather than a threat. As if it were an extra limb.
This quote changed how I looked at obstacles like fear or change or scary shit?
Obstacles ARE the path.
When anything scary happens in my life now, I choose to deal with it calmly rather than chaotically. I’m aware that I have that option. Maybe I didn’t realize I did before?
There will be hard days and weeks ahead. But I will view my fear differently this time. Instead, I will walk into the scarier days and weeks, knowing that I can handle them.
I’ve always had the power.
I have decided to focus on all the good things in my life that are being handed to me. The things I ask for.
But this time, I’m not turning them down.
Is there something that you wish you’d done in the past but were afraid to do it? Has fear prevented you from accomplishing goals in your life?