Fear plagued me for as long as I could remember. Being little and hearing my mum and grandad arguing, they would scream at each other for what seemed like hours and all I could do was cry. I understand today that no one is born fearful it’s something we master throughout our lives and unless we get a grip on it, that fear can kill you.
My mum was a very lonely, depressed, anxious and fearful person, not because she had no family, my grandparents has 13 kids including her, but because she always thought of herself as the black sheep of the family.
She had me out of wedlock, hid the pregnancy, planned to run away but I spoilt her plans because I broke her waters outside the hospital. She gave birth to me and was still planning on running away, thankfully my family found out because the nurse on shift was a friend of my auntie and she called my grandmother with the news of my birth and my mum’s plans. My grandmother took me home and I still don’t know if my mum holds a resentment against me for spoiling her plans?!
Growing up I always felt like I had to please my mum, I always felt pressured to get the grades, be the best behaved, the cleanest, the tidiest, the most loving and if I weren’t, she would give me away. She told me once that if I didn’t do well in school, she would swap me for one my friends… that broke my heart, I cried so much, and my fears escalated to a new level.
In school, I was a normal kid, but I always wanted attention and couldn’t stop talking. I got good grades and I was polite; I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut and couldn’t stop distracting people. From infant to secondary school that didn’t change, but it was all because I had to be liked, I had to be funny, I had to be good, I had to be naughty, I had to be everything I wasn’t just to please you.
I was always full of fear because if I wasn’t accepted, it meant I was a failure and that meant my mum wouldn’t want me. If you didn’t like me, then it was the end of the world. That’s a lot of pressure for a little boy to carry. I felt rejected many times by different people growing up and the fears would haunt me more and more. Pressures society put on us was too much for me; sex, popularity, fashion, sports, etc. I couldn’t just be me, so I had to have it all, otherwise you wouldn’t like me, which meant, I was a failure, which meant my world was going to end.
I would have nightmares that haunt me until I was 29 years old. I lived in constant fear of not being good enough, being rejected, being too good, too honest, not honest enough, too clingy, not loving enough, too funny, not funny, weird and the list goes on. Drugs took that away from me for years and it gave me what I thought at the time was confidence, relief, peace and fun. Cocaine, pills, ecstasy, MDMA, Ketamine, alcohol, sex, food, porn, etc, they became my fuck you to fear, fuck you to the world and fuck you to feeling like shit. If anyone hurt me, if I hurt someone, if I fucked up or wasn’t meeting other people’s expectations, I would go to the things which made me feel good and allowed me to escape.
The solutions didn’t last long, and my fears returned and this time they were armed with years of neglect and they brought friends along with them too. Three suicide attempts, two overdoses and no care for myself or anyone around me, something had to be done.
Thankfully, I found recovery and through working a program, it gave me everything I needed to look at my life with a different pair of glasses. These glasses were reality ones. Writing this has brought up some memories, none which affect me today. Writing this triggered fear because I’m not a writer, I’m just a guy with life experience and major addiction issues. My fear wants me to fail before I even start, my fear wants me to give up, my fear wants me to stay an addict, stay sick, stay negative, keep fucking up and reach such a low that next time I take my life successfully.
FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real
FEAR – Face Everything And Rise
Which one are you going to choose? Today, I choose to stare fear straight in the eyes and say, “give me your best shot”. Every time I faced my fears, I succeed and grew a little more. My fears turned into faith, my faith gave me belief and I grew a little more. My belief allowed me to love myself, so no matter how many times I fail, I will succeed. I love fear, I love failure, because they brought me my biggest gift ME.
If you are reading this, I hope you can face your fears, face your demons, face your addictions. I’m just a normal guy, who got fed up with living this sad life, so I chose top re-write my story.
Today, I have a beautiful family, a growing business and I’m open about my story, no holds barred. Facing my fears, gave me freedom, allowed me to be honest, to be a father, a son, a partner amongst other amazing things. I thank fear for all we shared because now I can teach others how they can live a life facing everything and rising.
Fear is an illusion; face it and you are on the road to becoming the best version of yourself.