The Fear

I am someone who is scared of a lot of things.  Some of them are reasonable and some of them aren't.  I hate elevators.  A heavy box, full of people, held up by nothing but a few cables?  Terrifying.  I am constantly checking their maximum weight capacity and assessing those around me to make sure we're well under.  I get nervous if I've had a big lunch because that cookie might be what puts us over. 

I am struck mute with terror when I encounter an attractive stranger.  I can be charming as anything if I don't fancy you, but if I do it's like my mouth actually looses the power to speak.  It's incredible I harnessed enough bravery to talk to Ana, let alone ask her out, liquor helped.

Pugs creep me way the fuck out.  It's not because I am scared they'll bite me or anything but because of their loud asthmatic breathing.

It sounds like they're always just about to die and I don't want to witness a pug die.  Another one of my fears is dead animals.

The thing I am most scared of though is my health and getting sick/dying.  This fear has evolved over the years but it has been around since I was little.  It first manifested as a fear of poison.  In grade one I was so afraid of paste, the minty less effective alternative to glue, that I would cry in the corner whenever we made paper turkeys out of hand prints, or whatever craft.  This is especially funny because children have been eating paste since the dawn of time.  Baby brontosaurs were eating paste back in the Mesozoic era.  Fact.

So harmless and so so terrifying to my six year old self.

So harmless and so so terrifying to my six year old self.

I was so scared of things being poison the school sent me to a counselor but I cried so much they never made me go back.  I cried my way out of therapy.  Years later, with an adult perspective, it seems like the tears might have been a sign it was something I really needed, but it worked.  I grew out of the poison thing but I am still the worst hypochondriac I know.  My favourite things to worry about are anything that will kill me suddenly and is not super detectable: heart attack, brain aneurysm, stroke, and air embolism. 

I have been different amounts good at dealing with this fear.  Sometimes it's not an issue and sometimes it gets really bad.  I once called an ambulance after a CrossFit class.  I had been doing twenty minutes of wall balls.  You throw a heavy ball against a target high on the wall.  I am only 5'2 so this was a challenging task for me.  My heart rate just wouldn't slow down.  I though it was the end.  The paramedics showed up and asked me what was wrong.  When I told them my heart rate was fast they asked what I'd been doing.  When I said CrossFit they could barely contain their eye rolling.  I get it because having a fast heart rate after you exercise isn't dying, it's living.  It's what your body is suppose to do.  It's hard to explain how real my panic is about these things but it is intense.  I have called ambulances many times.  I go through the emotions someone would who was actually having a heart attack.  It's bad.

Then I go and get pregnant.  Being pregnant is a total body experience.  What with the puking, dizziness, bowel horrors, sweating, swelling, bleeding gums, stronger pulses, discharge, congestion and the list goes on but it affects one on every level.  The other thing about being pregnant is that a lot of actually scary things can happen as a result of it, including my big four:  heart attack, brain aneurysm, embolism and stroke.

Preeclampsia = fucking terrifying.

There is a special kind of hear failure women get only because of pregnancy, embolisms can happen in the birthing process and more.  I know Downton Abbey happened a long time ago but this is still a thing that can happen.  However, even though being pregnant makes me confront the number one scariest thing I can imagine, sudden and horrible death, we're going for it.  Most of the best things life has to offer come with fear.  I am not just talking about motherhood but all sorts of things.

Traveling can be scary and moving doubly so.  You are leaving everything you know and love for the unknown and what does the unknown have to offer you?  You don't know.  Maybe nothing.  Maybe terrors beyond your worst imaginings, giant pugs that one by one suffocate in front of you due to their purebred, too short snouts.  But also, maybe amazing growth, learning, and adventure.

Falling in love is terrifying.  First off it involves talking to good looking people, which I already stated I am afraid of, but also being vulnerable to someone else.  Letting someone hold all the parts of you, even the fragile and imperfect parts, even the parts that you don't like to look at.  It also means after you have given them all of this, the best and the worst, they might decide, meh not for me.  Or that you're too much work.  Or that they need something different, or somethings different. 

Performing can be terrifying for people, being expected to make someone laugh or cry or think. 

But obviously we can't stay in one place, alone, and never make art in order to not feel fear and the same is true for becoming a mom.  I want this more then I want to feel safe and okay.  I am so excited to meet this little person, and watch them grow from something dependent on me to someone independent and completely themselves.  I want to know that kind of love.  I want to know that kind of struggle.  So we're doing this, but I am scared, and that is okay.