Looking back on my life…as far as I can remember…happiness has never been an abundant emotion for me. Sadness, fear, worry, self doubt, pretty much feeling worthless. My ENTIRE life spent in school…I’m talking pre-k through college, there was one thing on my mind more than anything else…I don’t want to be here. I seriously feared the crowds in the hallways, the classroom settings where I was terrified of being singled out. The silent pleading with the teacher, thinking that just maybe, if I plead long enough and stayed super focused, she could somehow here my silent cries for mercy. I constantly worried about what others thought of me and therefore I avoided everyone. I thought I was not rich enough, pretty enough, smart or witty enough to even dare talk to anyone.
So you might be wondering what this has to do with being “afraid” of happiness. Well, if I was unhappy and had a “poor-me” story to share…it was a Segway into a conversation and it allowed me to drive the conversation down MY road. It wasn’t that I was arrogant and only wanted to talk about me. It was the simple fact that a conversation about me I could never fail at. I knew all about me and what was coming next in the conversation. When the conversation started to slip off the “me” topic, I immediately began to drown in despair. I use the adjective drown for a very specific reason. My mind felt as if the inside of my head was being flooded with a million thoughts all at once. How to answer, what to say when they finished talking, how to get the conversation back to me. My mind went into serious malfunction mode and I couldn’t handle it. Being unhappy was a shield. As absolutely insane as it sounds, I believed unhappiness kept me safe. In reality…it just kept me alone.
I’ve had an indescribable amount of personal growth over the past several years. However, when I describe how I felt back then, I get flashbacks of certain situation in which I was horribly embarrassed, humiliated, and mortified. Some of the memories I can see as clearly as the day they happened.
So, I have a long way yet to travel on this journey to self discovery and healing. I still have unanswered questions about my fear of happiness. What I do know…is it has held me back, kept me a prisoner in my own mind for so long. Fear, a silent enemy living within me, unnoticed yet in plain sight.
The fight is on though; and in the end fear will not be the victor. Slow and steady wins the race and so I will continue to celebrate any success I have on this journey. Every step forward, no matter how small, is a step closer to being the me I know I am meant to be. The me that’s been locked away.