Fear is a horrible motivation for activity (or lack thereof, as the case may be). Typically, I very much enjoy being scared. My favorite movie is The Ring, and I have seen it probably 300 times. I watch things like Ghost Adventures and The Walking Dead before going to sleep at night, loving the scared, uneasy feeling. However, where the rubber meets the road, I'm often very timid and dysfunctional due to fear. It can be crippling at times, even for things as simple as going outside or going to the grocery store. I very much enjoy going out to dinner, but anxiety stops me very freqently. I look at the world outside and feel terrible that I don't actually feel like living my life. Part of this is due to the exhaustion I feel on a work day, but a larger part is due to the potential I acknowledge every second of every day that I am not safe.
Let's take this past weekend for example: I finished a particularly tough work week and landed at home on Friday night with a thud. I thought to myself "Gee, it would be nice to go out for a drink and maybe grab some dinner". Immediately, I felt the hard shell of reality enveloping the thought. "Well, Nellie is going to stop by and it would be bad to miss her, and I am pretty tired from the day". It doesn't really smack of fear, but it was there. Saturday morning I knew I wanted to focus on baking for the weekend, and I also knew I didn't have the supplies on hand in order to do that. "We must go to the store", I thought, rather calmly. However, as I started to pull my clothing on, I felt like I was being choked. I didn't even want the personal responsibility of taking myself outdoors. There's something really wrong with that feeling.
Luckily, I have enough of a sense for how to speak to people, and charisma is usually on my side. I can pick my way through person to person interaction very well, and it does not cause me any pain or grief. After much soul-searching, I find the heart of the matter to be this: It's simply the thought that I wouldn't be getting the most out of my life if I were to be doing anything but maximizing my time alone, away from the world doing absolutely nothing. Now, I've said before that this has to do with the tremendous abuse that I endured a year ago at AL. The 18+ hour days of hard labor and being constantly in tears burned into me the mindset that any minute not spent relaxing is a minute wasted, and furthermore would pay for it when I had to go through it all again the following day. However, this regime is gone. It is no longer the case, and I need to work harder at approaching that limit and pushing it out a little. Perhaps I should start with just going out for an hour or two on a weekend morning. I like going to do things like grab a drink or some food. I just don't like the constant fear that I should be sitting at home doing nothing or I will be sorry. Another thing I really need to push myself to do is swim. I hate pulling myself outside in order to do it, but it MUST be done. Especially today. I went yet another week last week without it, and my sleep is really going to suffer if I do not force myself. It's the being outside that is truly punishing.
I don't know about your uncle, but I'll try to get a message to your Aunt Nancy
I cannot believe I said that...