Journal – On Overcoming Fears

 

When I was a kid

I was afraid of the dark.

I used to make myself walk down the hallways in the dead of night

With the lights off

Just to prove … I don’t remember what

Maybe it was pride.

Maybe I despised my own cowardice.

So I just looked at the light switch

Then stared down the demons in the dark.

 

I hadn’t gone to the dentist in eight years

A lost filling finally drove me to the waiting room

Where I sat, my stomach knotty with fear.

After that I kept up with my dentist visits

Through crowns and drills and fillings lost and gained

And stainless steel needles the size of Montana

Culminating in my most recent visit

A small filling restored with,

By my own request,

No numbing agent.

I found it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

Now when I go, I marvel

At my lack of fear.

 

I never allowed myself the luxury of feelings

Afraid that they would hurt others.

This has been the worst fear to overcome.

I have progressed from exploring my emotions,

To writing them out,

To showing them to the world

My family

And hardest of all, my dad.

Because I loved him the most

I hid the most from him.

Protecting him from my unhappiness

Afraid he would blame himself

Or worry about me.

Today he called me

Asked if I was feeling okay

He’d read my bleak poem

And worried.

I reassured him, the poem was old.

When I hung up the phone

I wondered

At my stability in the face

Of what had just happened.

Dad had seen one of my darkest pieces.

And he had worried.

But things are different now.

I can be honest with him.

His humanity doesn’t break me.

My own humanity doesn’t break me.

The self-loathing spiral

Never came.

 

Now I have to keep posting

As if I didn’t know he was keeping up on the blog.

Or rather, I know that he is,

But I am able to be honest now.

Sometimes I want to die

Sometimes I want to stab something

But mostly I love my life

And although I still cherish my family,

I no longer idolize them,

Or feel the need to protect them.

 

I have always considered myself uncommonly lucky

In family and friends.

Today I can feel lucky

And not feel guilty too.

I can feel grief and pain

Just as easily as I can feel love.

 

But most of all,

I can feel.

 

And I feel grateful.

And I feel free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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