On Being Afraid

Hello, my friends.  I skipped church because I’m still recovering from being sick and I think it’s just that time of year where I always wake up with a  sore throat.  I also just didn’t feel like going.  My neck is sort of sore today.

Now, I don’t think I’ll be taking up too much of your time today because I don’t know how much I can squeeze out of today’s topic.  So, Charon has been asking me a lot lately about what I want to work on, what I want to accomplish in therapy, that sort of thing. Well, let me just tell you right now, oh my various heathen gods, it’s such a fucking hard concept.  First off, I hate the term ‘goals’ because that’s what we used in IEP shit and I hated that question back then.  I don’t know.  I need to be told what to do a majority of the time because I lack the capability to initiate things on my own for most things.

What do I want to be when I grow up?  Well, I’m already an Adult, so I’ve got the puberty thing over with, I hope.  I want to be an anthropologist studying ancient East Asian religions and how those rituals and ceremonies carried over to be the customs and culture of today’s East Asia.  Or a translator for Japanese historical studies.  Something along those lines.  It sounds like fun to me.

However, I’m terrified.  When I first started learning Japanese, I thought the Hiragana and the Katana were the hardest things ever.  Then I mastered them.  Then I started learning Kanji.  Kanji scared me.  THe idea of learning over 10,000 different combinations of Kanji, as well as the individual meanings of each, is a very daunting thing.  I’ve learned maybe 2,000.  Maybe. To be fair, I only need to learn about 2,000 or so different Kanji, the individual characters anyway.  The core 10k is what I need to know to be able to call myself as fluent as a local.  It’s a lot of stuff to learn just vocabulary wise.  I’m not even going to start on the fuckery that is Japanese grammar.

Still, despite that fear, I said to myself “Sarcastic Autist-kun, you can do this.  It’s only as difficult as you make it.”  Look at me now.  I’m doing wonderfully.  I’m still scared.  I’m scared of opening my mouth to speak to another person in Japanese and sounding like a potato.  I’m afraid that, when I live over in Japan, I will isolate myself or have meltdowns and get incarcerated or that  I’ll get raped or murdered or something.  It happens.  I’m terrified of the idea of even living in Japan.  I still want to go and I still want to do it.

I’m afraid of failure.  I’m afraid of trying things to the point where I avoid having to.  Driving is a new thing that I’m forcing myself to learn because I want to be able to randomly go places and I can’t do that here where there are no buses.  I’m afraid of the dark.  I’m afraid that I’ll end up hurting someone.  I’m afraid that I’ll relapse into the dark world of addiction and I won’t be able to get out of it.  I’m afraid of hurting myself.  I’m afraid of letting people down and I’m afraid of asking people for help.

I don’t try.  I live in a very comfortable little bubble where I can complain about how much everything sucks and how everything wants to hurt or kill me in the outside without ever having to face the potential dangers.  I get anxious whenever I leave the house.  And anxiety is nothing more than a fancy term for fear.

I really don’t care if I’m afraid. That’s not what I’m saying at all.  Some of my fears are very founded and justifiable, like my fear of relapsing or my fear of going back to self-harm.  There is nothing wrong with being afraid and I don’t care if I’m afraid of things.  With the exception of very small spaces and the dark, there’s not a lot of crippling fears that I have.  I just avoid them.

That’s the issue I have.  I avoid things.  I avoid my fears.  I look at something like riding on an airplane or getting my license and say ‘nope, not going to do that’ because I’m afraid.  I can’t even tell you what I’m afraid of half the time because I feel the fear and I run away without questioning it.  I don’t delve into my own self enough to try and get to know me better.  I do without thinking and that’s no way to live.

I don’t care if I’m afraid.  Fear is a very real thing and it’s part of life.  I do care that I allow the fear to be my life.  I care that I allow something as simple as fear to dictate what I do or do not try, do or do not talk about.  I don’t care if I never overcome my fears or learn to let them go.

I don’t care if I’m afraid.  I just want to learn to say “I’m afraid and I’m going to do it anyway”.

-The Sarcastic Autist

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