Friday, March 21, 2008

My worst enemy

If you've read here before you know I have a lot of fears. Sometimes I like to call 'em neuroses, it just sounds so much fancier, oddly more defined. But boiled down to basics: I'm afraid.

The fabulous paradox of my life is that I despise cowardice. Yet here I am, big ol' chickenshit; about the stupidest things sometimes! Really, who the hell is afraid of ordering something over a deli counter? Geez, Louise get over yourself, right? But there I am with my own particular weirdness.

There are tons of things I'm not afraid of that are very common fears: bugs, rodents, snakes, riding the NYC subway alone at 3 a.m., being on stage in my underwear... but there are things that scare me.

Since deciding to stick around in this life for as long as possible and not check myself out early, I have a personal mission to attempt those things that scare me, when I can. Meaning when they come up or when I'm emotionally 'up' enough to take the risk.

I'm so proud of, and excited for, myself when I manage to conquer those fears (even if it is just for the moment that allows me to attempt the experience) that I wonder how I can continue to hold onto any fears at all.

Certainly some fears are commendable. They are programmed deep in our brains as self-preservation - like the fear of heights, to keep us from jumping off tall buildings just to avoid a long elevator ride. But most are little things that we (okay, that I) use as emotional self-preservation. You know, to avoid embarrassment or heartbreak.

Ahh-haa! There it is, there's the the one, eh? Heartbreak. Does anything else hurt that much? Physical pain has nothing on the pain of a broken heart. That's the big daddy of all pain right there, that sonofabitch. Give me a broken leg over a broken heart any time. Hell, break two!

But along with heartbreak is the fear of rejection. Hand in hand with that fluffy little puppy is the fear of success. Yes, dichotomy is my middle name, is it not? (Okay, it's not really, but it may as well be on my birth certificate.) Of course, one cannot achieve success without risking rejection. Tough one. I believe they call that being between a rock and a hard place.

From time to time I read Tarot cards. I've been doing that since I was 15. Yes, yes, there were still dinosaurs then, but they were starting to die out. One thing about the cards that is much misunderstood is what they do. They really don't predict the future. What they do is serve the subconscious. They tell you what you already know. What you already feel. What you already, deep down, want - or fear - and haven't, or can't, admit to yourself. Having your cards read is a lot like having someone interpret a dream for you: sometimes it's hard to see what's in your own head. Reading your own cards is a great way to find out about yourself.

When I do my own cards I get the same readings all the time. All the time. It always boils down to this: "what holds you back is fear". It's the only thing. One teeny four letter word is the only thing that stands in the way of EVERYTHING. Isn't that silly?

The other night I was talking to Miss X's Mom who reminded me ('cos I needed it) that we create our own reality. The things we tell ourselves over and over in our nutty little noggins are made manifest. We are what we believe we are, we become what we tell ourselves we are. This is a powerful thing. Unfortunately it is much easier to put limits on ourselves than it is to dream big, easier to tell ourselves we suck rather than rock. At least it has been for me the past couple of weeks. Going through some blues of late - with that voice in my head regurgitating every negative thought I've ever had about myself. Bleech.

Part of me would simply like to up my dosage of Zoloft and call it a day. But that's not what I need to do. My dosage is fine, it keeps the razor blades and crazy shopping at bay -- that's good enough. The real trick is for me to face my fears. That's the thing that will really fix the 'bad' that I've been going through lately. And I know it.

Pinning down the No. 1 fear for me is tough. There are a lot that ride shotgun with it to keep it safe, so even if I bump off a few of them, there are more to take their place. Bastards. But I suppose the head honcho, the one who really runs the whole show, is the fear of being unloved.

I wish I could put a stop watch on this post so you could see how long it took to actually type that last word. Oy. That's a year of my life I'm never getting back.

So the fear of being unloved (it was faster to type that time), is the essence of the whole thing. It is what keeps me from losing weight, despite working out like a fiend and eating properly. It is what keeps me from writing my book, my play, my screenplay, (fill in the various writerly items). It is what keeps me from attracting someone who might actually (shudder) love me. That fear is the thing that keeps me from EVERYTHING.

Talk about a vicious circle!

How do you beat a thing like that?

When I wanted to die this all still bothered me - immensely. But the escape route was clear: just kill myself. Easy-peasy, no worries, no risk equals no failure.

But I like being alive now. A lot. A whole lot. In the words of Miss Susan Hayward "I want to LIVE!" I really do! And I want to do it fully and without these crippling fears of unlovableness that hold me in a static state of 'what the fuck?', and without backtracking to living up (or down) to the expectations of my parents and family who viewed me as useless, odd, and utterly, irrevocably unworthy and unlovable.

I'm fucking AWESOME, dammit.

Now if I could just get my tarot cards to believe that.

1 comment:

Gary said...

You are AWESOME!

The pain of heartbreak is truly a killer but as you know, I have been there (and dragged you along with me - thanks) but have appreciated the fact that I have had and have the love love to begin with.

Put yourself out there - the fact remains that success is built on the backs of failure. It is the view we take on the failure that makes the difference. Does it stop us or allow us a clearer vision?

You have talent is so many areas (and being that we are not getting any younger) the luxury of fear is one we can no longer accept.

For what it's worth, I love you!