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Fear is a Four-Letter Word



I realized clearly this morning: I'm afraid.

I'm sort of on the border between my old life and a new one. Well, not on the border, exactly. The border seems to me to be a broad, uninhabitable strip between my dark lonely past and current life, and the sunny green fields of my future. I'm hovering just inside the old life, looking across at the life I've always dreamed of.

And I'm afraid. Even though I feel strongly that fear won't be needed in that sunny new life, that any trouble I might encounter there would still be something I could handle, I'm still huddled here in abject terror, refusing to move in any direction in case it's the wrong one.

On top of that, I'm afraid that I'll always be afraid, that I'll be condemned to stay in the shrivelled old dark life forever. Not only am I not doing any of the things that might allow me to move towards my new life, I'm also not doing the ordinary maintenance things that would keep me safe in the old one. It's as if I'm trying to force something other than me to decide what happens to me, even though it's obvious which life I should choose.

Fear, for me, has always been a form of protection. I shut down in times of trouble, afraid that my own answer will inevitably be the wrong one, and hoping that something or someone else will choose for me.

I'm beginning to think that it's that outlook in and of itself that's keeping me on this side of the barrier. It isn't possible to live the new life I can see just over there, while still holding to this outmoded "coping skill". Instead, I drag the old life onward with me, unable to just slip out of it and into the sun again.

I think I need help, having found that I am the problem.


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You know what you need to do, right ?

You have been saying what you need to do for a while now.

I'm pleased in a way that you have realised how you are truely feeling. i'm just sorry it is hurting you so much and that you are so fearful.

We are all here for you, and will help in anyway we can, but ultimately, what happens next is down to you.

You can either leave things until its too late, and the decissions you now face are out of your hands,


you can fight, make a stand for yourself, and chase your dreams, go to that place where you can be happy, and safe.

We both know that ignorance is bliss, crumbs its a very good coping mechanismn. But you also know things dont just go away , right ?

Try and fight against shutting down, please, you deserve better than that.


Im gabbling, probably not making any sense what so ever.


Just please take good care of yourself.

You know we are all here for you.

Take care hun,


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Sorry mark,

I know Im not much help kinda in my own world.

But I do want you to be happy, and although you dont have the same beliefs as me.

I hope you find and live your fairy tale

Take good care of you, for all of us, please


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Good morning Mark,

You've resurrected old memories for me... not bad ones that trigger me, but the problem solving ones-- those that required I develop coping strategies that led me out of my cave once the divorce process was under way.

Mark, I'm not sure what needs untangled, as you suggested yesterday, or what you need to say to us to release those demons-- what I do know is that when I was at your stage, I diverted all my energies to doing the "devil's work" (running back and forth between my myriad of pains and the defenses required to keep me afloat, pivoting on the isthmus of my caged life as I gaslighted everything else around me). I was busy developing a most rationale or irrational scaffolding that that I spent weeks and weeks servicing, propping up, sustaining and maintaining. And, this, seems to be where you are. We both call it fear, I did so then and you're doing so now: same territory, different person.

This may sound like an odd thing, but one thing that I realized was that I had so been wrapped in my pain that there was no room for other emotions, important ones. What I realize now is that I needed a good dose of anger, b/c anger brings out passion. I needed to renew my anger (and I don't hear anger in your blogs, I do hear defeat and hopelessness) b/c in this case, it was the most effective way of protecting myself from a disabling fear, helplessness and hopelessness (which for me were little more than like the howlings of the wolves at night).It was anger that took away my vulnerability and then I could act out of a strong sense of what needed to be done. However, this anger cannot be simply a rope that you tied to a winch you can use to further choke you, it must be used, even if for a few hours, to create the plan we spoke of yesterday-- the fact that you say you "suck" at planning is not enough, it's an excuse for not acting (let me be blunt as you would and have been with me), it's no different than waiting for Godot! This I know b/c I went thru it as have hundreds of the men and women I've seen over the last 30+ years.

There was an excellent saying I heard years ago: "Edith is a beautiful country bordered on the north, the south, the east and the west, by-- Edith." So Edith, like me 10 years ago, lived in a house of mirrors and w/o windows. I was the eternal observer, the onlooker, the self seer and self censor, but never the participant in my own life- and there seemed to never be a relief from the fear, self doubt, shame, need to protect any possible unguarded gates, and the need to protect and shoulder the Hoover Damn of my own pains.

Mark, I know all too well that there are times the soul must weep, and it must be allowed to as part of its healing: likewise, there are times to end it when one sees that the weeping is immobilizing one's life. From your descriptions, would you say the time to move is now? I understand depression well, and I understand the angst of moving while one is depressed, and I understand even better that being immobilized merely prolongs and deepens the depression, the isolation and the hopelessness. It is said that feeling depressed can be worsened when one fails to be in settings where one is fed well--- isolation and living like Edith starves you and feeds the depression: purposeful movement starves the depression and feeds you as a whole.

Another dissertation, mia culpa. My hope is that is received in the way it is intended, to piss you off just a little (that David doesn’t understand “caca”, what the hell is he talking about) and to push you even more to act (what the… geez he’s got some gall!!!).

Good luck mi amistad,

David O

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