Posted by: cg00n | May 30, 2009

Fear of living

How many times have I said that I am more afraid of being depressed or of suffering a major anxiety attack than I am of dying from cancer?  It is a feeling that comes over me a lot at times like the present but I don’t know if that is really what is bugging me right now or whether it is a separate problem.

Ever since the meeting with the general surgeon on Wednesday I have been feeling anxious and tense – butterflies in my stomach, anticipating a trip to the principal’s office … like that.

Various friends as well as P and A have assured me that this is perfectly normal under the circumstances.  If this is true then I just have to do the best I can to get through it and in a few days it will be past and I can get back to what passes for reality.  Of course, nothing prevents me from trying various things to get over it more quickly:  pills, meditation, hot showers, soothing music, whatever.  So, I have a question for you all: does this sound right to you and how do you handle this sort of state when you’re in it?

On the other hand, maybe what I’m (at least partly) reacting to is a negative perception of the future.  If I think back it seems that fear has been a large part of what has determined where I am today.  For example, I could have made much more of my career if I had believed in myself more strongly, but I was afraid that I wasn’t as good as all that.  I would have done a lot more sailing and skiing if I wasn’t afraid that I would capsize the boat in a gale or fall off the edge of a mountain.  My mind paints these bleakly horrifying pictures for me and I shrink from examining them in too much detail.  I try to play it extremely safe and avoid possibly stressful situations.  Another question for you all:  do you experience life this way, at least part of the time, and if so how do you deal with it?

If my current state of mind is the result of the first scenario I expect I’ll be OK and it is really no big deal.  If I’m suffering from the second and this is generally considered to be “over the top” then I think it is time to get serious about dealing with it.  Long past time, really.  I should not have to live in fear of my own life.

Notwithstanding all this gloom I’m not actually feeling too bad and, as usual, day by day things are improving again.



  1. I think you are coping with the news very well, considering. How can any of us not be at least a little anxious when we don’t know what lies ahead. Likely lifelong habits of thought don’t change easily, but I’ve always enjoyed your company. Everyone has a mix of strengths and weakness, so from my position as your friends it appears that your mix has worked out quite well.

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