Today I Realized that I am Afraid

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

I wrote this in that moment when you finally understand what that dark space was in your mind that you refuse to acknowledge.


Today I realized that I am afraid.

It’s funny how it takes years of peace to know why you didn’t cry in the struggle.

Why you masked your pain to cope with the grief behind your giggles.

When I was down and out and lonely and doubtful…

I thought it was hope.

When I thought I was happy and content and alright with the pretty picture I thought I was living in, I called it happiness.

Today in the calm of the calm of the storm,

Today in that moment after the tears, after the smiles, but before the heartbreak

Today in a stagnant space of nothing where you can look up and swear that….I’ve been here before

But I turned left at that last right.

I’ve seen this before but I must’ve had my shades on.

I’ve passed this monument before, this waterfall of tears, this pain before, it seems familiar.

I realized that I was afraid.

I wasn’t afraid of my past.

I made it through that.

Learned the lessons I was told to learn and then some.

Righted the wrongs I had ached over.

Realized that maybe there is only so much I can do.

Cast sunshine upon what I could and buried what I hoped would not, one day, wash back up in the rains of something far worse.

I love my present for everything that it is and everything I make sure that it isn’t.

I love my present for the triumphs I’ve had the goals I’ve yet to meet, for the challenge.

I am afraid of what I can’t control.

I am afraid of the chaos I always feel looming. And for the meteorological talent to possibly guess with good probability and the ability to make you believe that I’m right, while I have no idea of what’s ahead.

I am afraid of the will be’s, the maybe’s, the possibly’s, the what if’s, the I hope’s, the I pray not’s, the…..i don’t know’s.

Because I just…don’t…know.

And I’m not comfortable with that.

It doesn’t sit well with me,

I am not secure in that…it is scary.

I am afraid of that blank space in pretty picture that no one told me would show up on film

I am afraid of the dark space in my mind, where that monster I was told wasn’t in my closet actually lives.

Yes, it’s actually real; it’s actually the truth that’s too afraid to tell me that I’m much more afraid of it than it could ever be of me.

I am scared to the bone of the type of things I can’t name, or see, or foresee, or identify, or pretend that I have the magical ability to do any combination of the above.

I am afraid of me, of you, of them, of us, of the world.

I am afraid for the product of me and their fears that I cannot assuage with maternal words of sweetness and the lie that, “everything will be okay.”

That tomorrow will be as sunny as yesterday and yesterdays will never seem as cloudy as today’s tomorrows.

I cannot promise them the sun for I’m too scared to look for it in the fear that it won’t be there.

I am afraid that you won’t believe in me, won’t see me, that I’m too afraid to not be afraid to be me. I’m afraid that everything I’ve worked hard to prevent will come back to smack me.

That all the heartache I’ve prepared walls for will kill me.

That all of the pain I’ve found Band-Aids for will cripple me.

To remind me that it never left.

That fear never plays sleight-of-hand tricks,

It is real, and obvious, and laughs in the face of my fear.

Knowing that it is superior to my futile attempts to close my eyes and wish it away in the counting of sheep.

To dream it away in the fantasies of nightmares.

To believe that I can use it, call upon it in an epic silver-screen moment renamed courage and type-cast as perseverance.

I am afraid to write this poem, to know that I might feel the tears that had once burned my face,

And I cooled

And I dried

By my telling myself that I am not the only one,

That I can’t be the only one,

That for every drop there is another hoping that I can face my fear, of the fear of myself,  in order to save them.

So I’ll try.

I am me and sometimes that is scary.

I cannot claim the cake-walk life of another, nor should I be allowed to hope that I can change what I cannot bear to admit may be unchangeable.

Today I realized that I was afraid.

That I AM afraid.

I am scared of myself and my future and that it will be a mirror image of my past.

That the strife will be never ending and it was just cruel enough to allow me to enjoy a hiatus in my mind.

To allow me time to foster this fear.

To nurture these thoughts, and take a moment to learn that there is nothing I can do about it.

That I am bottled hopelessness and fierce resolve and at some point one side will have to win.

And I am afraid of which it might be.

Whatever that means for whoever I really am.

Or whomever I choose to become.

And in all this

I hope that one day,

 I’ll be more than the fear of being afraid.

Submitted: April 08, 2012

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