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i’m afraid of

April 12, 2012

not finding my dream job
finding (and failing at) my dream job
feeling out of control
meeting new people
socializing in general
being alone (feeling lonely)
being judged
silent moments
saying something stupid to fill those silent moments
being stuck somewhere when i’m tired and just want to be home (i can get pretty cranky – it’s not pretty)
losing my mind
my wedding day (being the center of attention)
my husband leaving me
cancer (or any incurable disease)
the death of loved ones
having regrets
not living enough
not being enough
dolls (the ones with the creepy eyes)
natural disasters
having anything come out of any one of my orifices in public (need i say more?)
writer’s block
my own vulnerability
my own anger
having children
not having children
being a bad mother
fear itself

She said, maybe if I listed my fears, they wouldn’t look so scary. They still look scary to me (the sheer number of them alone – that’s a whole lot of fear), especially that most of these, I can’t do anything about. I CAN’T CONTROL THEM. And I know what they say, that the only way to slay fear is with love but I don’t know about you… when there’s a rabid dog out there that wants my face for dinner, I want a baseball bat to fend him off. I doubt cajoling it with Care Bear songs is the answer. Sorry. That’s my sarcasm speaking (readers, meet sarcasm. sarcasm, readers). It pipes up in times like these. You’ll have to forgive it.

I had a moment recently. The peak of it lasted 12 hours but the sequels are still being felt, like tremors after an earthquake. In that moment, every single one of my fears pummeled me. All at once. With force and vehemence. I spoke with a friend about it and tried to explain what it is I’ve been feeling lately. And we came up with a name for my syndrome. Here is the shortened version of that conversation:

me: i could very easily spend hours crying into a tub of ice cream and watching reruns of grey’s anatomy. it’s like post partum, except, without the baby
r:  oh j, I’ve been thinking about it off and on and I have a suspicion that you are in fact dealing w/ a very real thing that hasn’t yet been given a name.
me: like. a DISEASE?
r: HA no. wait I’ll explain. call it a hangover. like, the day after a really big emotional high or low? not only w/ natural emotional shit. even w/ alcohol or drugs. you know how you feel, right. everything’s sort of jangled up and some things seem impossible and some others don’t make a lot of sense and you’re a little fucked in the head and a little fucked physically and sometimes it’s fine and other times you’re like wow, I need to remember I’m hung over because it would be really easy to just think my life has fallen apart for no reason! well if you pull back a little and look at it for real, this might actually be the equivalent of the fallout from a 2 YEAR binge, rather than a one-nighter. I don’t think it’s impossible. I even think it sort of makes sense and explains the fact that it’s ongoing. I mean damn. imagine if you were on speed for 2 years
me: dude. that is the best explanation for my condition ever!!!
r: haha well it’s been fermenting and it just coalesced
me: we should give it a name
r: right! but what is big enough to cover all of it? we need to get the latin dictionary out
me: post 12yrbreakup-longdistancerelationship-périodedepointe-wedding-visa applying-moving to london stress syndrome
r: wait. i’m onto something… ok well a little tinkering w/ google translate gets me closest: POST-repudii et chaos apicem tempus diu distantia matrimonium radicem evellit Londinensi-SYNDROME which translates as POST-divorce, and the peak time of chaos, long distance marriage uproot London-SYNDROME
me: MY SYNDROME HAS A NAME. i reckon we can get the copyright for it and shorten it to the ronnie syndrome
r: hells yes
me: i might have to blog this
r: my syndrome has a first name, it’s R E P U D I I, my syndrome has a second name, it’s E T C H A O S A P I C E M T E M P U S D I U D I S T A N T I A M A T R I M O N I U M R A D I C E M E V E L L I L O N D I N E N S I. catchy. you probably should blog it because then you would be doing something constructive with your time! instead of just being anonymously crazy
So there you have it, peeps. Consider it blogged. Right here on W&W. Next time you feel really ridiculously overwhelmed, there’s a name for it. It’s called having a case of the Ronnies (her nickname for me – go ahead, you can use it). But fear not, it’s impermanent and like most things, it too shall pass.
Well, at least, I bloody well hope so.
9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 12, 2012 1:18 pm

    stay strong sister. everyone has overwhelming feelings that threaten to drown them sometimes. or in my case, if you’re an over thinker and a type A planner and then suddenly you’re not able to project and plan your life, you have these feelings A LOT. my solution? a cup of tea, a few deep breaths and then promptly shutting off my brain and turning on netflix for an hour or so. there’s something about BBC shows that soothes me. it must be the accents.

  2. April 12, 2012 2:51 pm

    I’m afraid I share 99% of your list, so I’m not much help… EXCEPT, come to Oxford, and I am confident we can strike Cujo off your list xx

  3. Marylene permalink
    April 12, 2012 6:06 pm

    Try the book: Tremblez mais osez

  4. melissajaine permalink
    April 13, 2012 2:13 am

    If I may – as someone who knows from experience (and knowing I am one of the very lucky ones) – cancer isn’t always incurable. 🙂
    But still scary as hell.
    But knowing it didn’t get me … empowering.

  5. April 13, 2012 11:13 am

    Ah ha! We’re sailing in the same ship! Good job we can disect this all next week. I know I need it. Tea and sympathy at the ready, we can wallow in it for a while and then make a plan to get back on track x.

  6. April 15, 2012 12:10 am

    Oh, I loved this post!

    P.S. YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH… I saw a sign today that said, “Keep Calm and Carry On” and I thought of you!

  7. April 16, 2012 3:47 pm

    I laughed while almost crying, I wanted to throw my arms around your neck, I coughed a bit of my water up into my nose, then I almost cried again (mostly at the similarities)…

    Damn I’ve missed you.

    And I’m so relieved to have a name for my syndrome too 🙂 Though I’m certain to confuse family and friends when I’ve gone all wonky and say, “Don’t mind me, just a case of the Ronnies”. That’ll give ’em pause, eh?

  8. April 16, 2012 6:35 pm

    OMG. I can SO relate to this list of yours. So much. And I think it’s incredibly brave to put the list out there like this. Sometimes I actually fear that if certain people knew my fears they could use them against me. Which makes your list even braver.
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. brainalbabe permalink
    May 14, 2012 1:45 pm

    What a GREAT photo… I love to find art in random places and take photos myself. This is a way cool find!

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