It’s my first time joining in with the Food and Fitness monthly meme, Junes prompt being Hopes and Fears.
If you have been a regular visitor to my blog you will know that I have lots of hopes and dreams, that I work hard to live the life that aligns with my true self. I want nothing more than for my children to develop this independent spirit as they grow. But it isn’t always easy to maintain that level of authenticity and sometimes I need a reminder.
What I don’t tend to write about is my fears.
Growing up I was an adrenaline junkie. I filled my free time with things that sparked that surge. For a number of years there was a poster on my bedroom wall: Feel the fear and do it anyway. The picture, a free solo climber, doing a handstand out of the side of a mountain. I never wanted to do that but I did enjoy my world as best I could. My one phobia was Spiders, and I couldn’t tell you the amount of times I fell off the edge of the world through sheer terror when those scuttling creatures suddenly appeared.
When I married this was all tipped on it’s head.
He was even more scared of spiders than me and would scream loudly before killing any eight legged critter that found it’s way into his eyeline. I may have been scared of spiders, but that doesn’t mean they have to die, right? So I had to follow the advise on my old bedroom poster. I may have been scared but I was motivated. However, as I was getting my adrenaline buzz from arachnid extractions my freedom to enjoy extreme sports was diminishing, along with my confidence and sparkle.
I didn’t realise at the time, it just kind of happened.
It is approaching 8 years since things really escalated at home with P, nearly 6 years since I started getting me back and began to see what I had been missing out on for 12 years. 3 since I hit my darkest times. I have a theory as to why that time was so much than before. In part it is down to manage mode, where I had buried my head in the sand in order to just get through the days. But mostly, it’s like stepping outdoors on a bright sunny day when you have been sat inside with the blackout curtains closed. Your eyes just can’t cope. It is the same for sunshine of the soul, if your heart isn’t ready then it is almost impossible to genuinely accept it.
To believe it is for you.
It took me a long time to get through the baggage of my marriage. 18 months in counselling, discharging myself when it became clear that I had untangled the spaghetti of my mind and was inspiring her to do exciting things too. Like run London Marathon for the charity she worked for. It is certainly something that I hope to continue, inspiring others to stretch themselves out of their comfort zone. And I see that in my friends. My fault? Sometimes I get the blame, but really it comes from them.
What about my fears though?
I seem to have skirted around the subject again… Well, the thing is I’m not really afraid anymore. I have little niggles sometimes and I don’t like to ask for help. But I’m not scared to do that anymore, or to admit that I am wrong, or even that I am proud! The life I have lived has shown me some of my worst fears coming true. And I don’t mean a wolf spider dropping onto the back of my neck and scurrying away into my jumper. But for each of those awful experiences I have learnt something, acquired a new level of resilience. Each and every time I have survived and come back stronger. Actually, maybe not stronger. Maybe I’m just more aware of the strength I already had within me.
So it can’t be all bad, can it?
You have to die a few times before you can really live.