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Overcoming Fear and Rediscovering Myself

Saturday, 30 April 2011

So, this past weekend at Frolicon I found something that I had lost.  I wasn’t really clear that I had lost it before I found it again.  Anyone who has spent five minutes around me is going to probably laugh their ass off when I say what it is and I am totally prepared for that reaction. 

I decided in my early teens to live my life as much without regret as possible.  Back then, that took a very reckless, self-destructive form.  Then I got clean and I got more, um conservative.  Yeah, that’s even funny for me to say; much less I am sure for anyone to read.  Conservative and my name are rarely used in the same sentence.  Sometimes my insistence on personal responsibility makes people think I am extremely conservative…however, I digress. 

So, I don’t like living with regrets but when I got clean I was told that many of the things I liked to do were not good for my recovery.  I won’t go into the whole laundry list of them, let us sum it up by saying that many of them are on the list of things that a lot of us kinksters love to do.  I knew that my life had to change or I was going to die so I believed what was put in front of me.  Let me say here that those things saved my life and for that I am forever grateful. 

I walked away from the life that I had known since I was a teenager.  I walked away from my submission, my masochism (though I found new outlets for this but that’s for later), my free spirit, my dreamer, my artist, my spirit.  Oh sure, those things were always there in some measure, I mean I didn’t die for cripes sake, but I did close off some important areas. 

For the first time in my life I was so afraid that I couldn’t bull my way right through it.  That’s not to say I had never been afraid before, trust me I had been, but I had always managed to hide it, camouflage it, and deflect people’s attention from it.  I grew up in an environment that weakness was exploited and used to grind you down so I learned to hide any small thing that I thought might even have the tiniest potential for someone to use to harm me. 

Now I was in a place in my life where those old tools failed me in a way that they never had before.  I was lost, not completely alone but too scared to reach out and ask for directions.  (I am SO a guy in that regard. lol) I spent years trying to learn new tools while simultaneously throwing away the old ones.  That’s not to say I am completely done with this process, I don’t know that I ever will be and that’s ok.  I am so far ahead of where I came from that I am ok with learning more about it and me until the day I die.

I have worked hard these last 15 years to transform who I am. I have taken so many risks in my life and lived in a way that made the old me’s skin crawl just to think about it.  I am a better person for all of it too. 

I like to live my life without as many regrets as possible.

I like to learn about myself. 

I like to grow. 

I REALLY like to grow. 

To grow I have to do things that make me uncomfortable.  In many ways I tend to walk right toward what scares me and grab it and say “Let’s get comfy and get to know each other my fear!”  Hell, sitting in an electric chair last October is a prime example of that. 

But my old friend fear has still been with me over the years even though I have sat down with it many times and told it that it wouldn’t rule me again.  Fear is a sneaky fuck though and I have recently unearthed some groundwork the twerp laid and has been using that I didn’t even see.  It was so slow and methodical that I never saw it coming.  I have always told people that if they didn’t like something about me, were angry with me, had something to say that I would rather they come at me head on with the baseball bat than stab me in the back.  (Sadly, many rarely take me up on this.)  Fear isn’t much for the whole head on thing either…stealthy fucker.  While I was facing it down on bigger stuff it was eroding me with the small underpinnings in my life.

Here is where folks who think they know me and even some who do are going to probably laugh out loud when I say this. 

I lost my voice. 

I didn’t know it was gone. 

I had no idea fear had stolen it away while I was busy screaming at it. 

Somewhere along the way I lost the ability to really say what I wanted, needed, desired in my heart of hearts and ask for those things, tell people exactly what I thought without trying to make it all ok for them at my expense and speak my truth completely and from the depths.  Does this mean that the things I have said are untrue? Nope, not at all, they just may not have been the entire truth.  For someone who is mostly an open book I was playing a lot of cards close to the vest.

I reached a point where apparently I cared too much what other people thought of me and my path.  Hmmmm….that’s not completely true…I cared that I didn’t want to get hurt.  Hell, who does?  Even we masochists don’t like every single kinda pain.  I was tired of getting hurt, being disappointed, getting left out in the cold, and feeling like everyone was getting their needs met and I wasn’t.  (Nothing new on the human spectrum of feeling I am assured. lol) 

So, I stopped asking, stopped saying my truth, stopped reaching out for what I wanted, needed and desired.  *sighs* I fell into the oldest trap that fear can set…the false feeling of security in isolation.  Even surrounded by people I had become isolated by not speaking up for myself on some levels. 

This wasn’t an across the board thing as anyone who really knows me can attest to.  Most notably it is in my personal needs in relation to kink and relationships to/with others.  I know what I am supposed to do and in a lot of ways I do them.  There are a few small areas where that hasn’t been true and that is what was made abundantly clear to me at Frolicon. 

I opened my mouth, I spoke and things happened.  So simple, so very simple and yet sometimes so hard. 

Well, as part of my continuing to live an uncomfortable life this shit is changing!  I found my voice and my groove and I am not giving them up again without a fight damn it!  So, that means that if I am interested in something/someone I plan on telling them and/or asking for what I want/need. 

Because, here’s the thing…what do I have to lose? Really lose?  Nothing, that’s the thing: NOTHING.  I lose nothing in the asking.  I do this in SO many other areas of my life and many of my kink and it’s time to make it unilateral.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. 

So, look out, here I come! LOL 

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