I used to think I understood what fear meant and I assume everyone feels the same. However, I don’t feel like you truly know fear until you face some type of real life tragedy.
I’ll start by saying, I’m not claiming to know it all or be an expert by any means, however I will tell you about my own experience and how it has affected me.
My life was good some people might not think so because we all have a different prospective on what “good” looks like however to me having a ton of crap and a bunch of money or success doesn’t make it a good life. All those things I knew quickly became facts when I was faced with my tragedy. The things that use to seem impossible or dreams that appeared unreachable didn’t matter anymore. Those things are robbed from you the minute you deal with a tragedy. Those people that look like they have it all on Instagram or Facebook, constantly posting all about their expensive luxury vacation where they leave the kids behind or the new vehicle they drive or the designer brands they buy for themselves and kids. Do you really think that matters? What is wrong with this society and people in general? This mindset of you must have this and drive that, and, make this much and be like so and so. It’s beyond exhausting and its absolute crap, none of those things matter. I am telling you from experience! Of course, I still care about buying something I love or going on the family vacations, etc. However, its not needed or wanted like it use to be. Perhaps, because I almost lost it all. I’m not talking about loosing my actual physical items I’m talking about loosing what matters most, what I could not live without. What I can’t replace in a store or buy online, I’m talking about loosing a piece of me. Loosing my heart, my child And Loosing my family.
Those days spent in an old, dark, depressing hospital room really brought the realness out in life for me. I don’t care about the little shit, I don’t have time for bullshit, I have no time for games or drama, I just don’t care. Some might find that cold, and you can call it whatever you like. I don’t care that when I’m sitting in public balling my eyes out your judging me. I don’t care that you may judge me for not having the nicest things or the biggest house, I don’t care that you sometimes look at me in public because I don’t have my hair, or my makeup done. I don’t care!!!!
I used to care, I really did. Those things use to consume me, why is someone looking at me funny, do I appear weak if I cry in public? I never use to leave my home without having my makeup and hair done, which is something I was taught as a young child and is a whole other story that I may share about one day. These things we care about don’t matter. They can all be gone so quick or can change so quick.
The fears I once had before are so tiny and irrelevant because the only thing I care about is my family. I hold onto those moments we share that its just us and we can smile and laugh and just be content with what we have and the company of each other. I am so thankful for where Harlow is today, and I don’t for a second take that for granted, however I do know how fast things can change and that fear never leaves now. At times it will consume my thoughts and become overpowering to deal with, living in constant fear and anxiety is something that has aged me rapidly.
I’ve been told throughout my life that I have a very strong personality and I can be intimidating. Not something that screams great quality, super nice girl. My good friends will remind me of it at times and challenge me to be real, break the hard shell, be more vulnerable. I don’t even know how to do that anymore, which is the sad reality, I’ve been in survivor mode for so long I forgot how to be “real”.
I’ve allowed this event in my life to really change me, and its hard cause I don’t know how to stop that. It’s hard because I notice myself taking my anger and fears out on the people I love most. I’ve been on a constant path of trying to be a certain way and making sure I don’t ever seem weak, that I don’t make people feel overwhelmed by me or my feelings, that I ask people how they are instead of honestly answering them when they ask me “how are you?” My typical answer is “fine” and a quick change of subject or deflection. I’m never wanting to look or seem broken, let me tell you.
Honestly, I’m broken. I’m bruised.
I’m not the person I want to be. I don’t always treat people the way I should. I’m not vulnerable with my feelings, I’m not good ask asking for help. I shut myself off, I sometimes snap at people. I’ll at times instantly regret my quick words, or actions. I push people away.
A lot of this is based on FEAR.
This is an encouragement for you to embrace your life, embrace right now. Be thankful for what you have and don’t be ashamed of it. Hold onto those people you love and cherish that, not everyone has that. Be kind to yourself when times are tough and show compassion to strangers because we all have a story and some type of struggle going on. Be thankful for the memories for they are unbreakable and irreplaceable. Don’t live in fear or let fear define you.