Fear. It’s like sugar; lately I seem to be finding it in everything.
I’ve never called myself afraid. I’m not that person afraid of life. I mean in all honesty I think of myself as someone who is strong and I don’t let much get in my way.
But these days, especially since becoming a parent, I have moments of paralysing fear. You know, those times were you imagine the bad things and for a second you think they a real.
I didn’t realise how consuming my fears had become until I went to New Zealand recently. There I was in the car on the ride out to the airport all twisted up inside. I wanted to go but didn’t want to leave my family. What if I never came back? Where would Sonny and Ivy think I have gone? Would they ask for me all the time? Would they be ok growing up without a mother? Would Shaun remarry? Where will I go? What will the other side look like? Would people forget me?
These questions kill me, they send me into an almighty head spin. I can’t talk about them because I can’t bear to even think what the answers would be and I hate that. I hate being controlled by the idea that something might happen. I hate being controlled by the inevitability of death. It turns me into this worried control freak and when I let it take over it changes the outcome of a situation.
For ages I’ve been thinking about it, assessing how I really am in general day to day life once I realized that fear was creeping in. Being aware of it has helped and most of the time I live in the present rather than let those horrible thoughts invade me, but to be honest, I’m not sure they will ever go away and I would hazard a guess I’m not alone. But taming those fears is imperative, otherwise I’ll end up feeding my kids full of fear and I don’t want that for them.
During the trip New Zealand for the A Bit More Soul workshop I decided to ask the attendees what their greatest fears were. They obliged (a huge thank you by the way!) in this very personal question and here are their responses.
I knew I wasn’t alone and that’s a comforting thought.
All images taken with Contax 645, Kodak Portra 400.