Monday, June 23, 2014

Live Large


I have so much now in my second chance. I'm forever scarred and forever missing someone I expected to be with until I died, but I get to live on for some reason and I'm doing it well. I've been lucky in some instances but in most, I've worked hard to be where I am now. I have a lot.

I'm in a healthy, loving relationship. I have a beautiful home, healthy pets, a new career field to explore while going back to school for art. I live in the best city EVER. Seriously, Portland seems like a fairytale more often than not. I'm healthy, my guy is healthy, I'm financially okay and I have the love and support of wonderful friends and family.

I'm finding that even still it's hard for me to accept the good things. My mind is rigged to search vigilantly for the disaster right around the corner. When will the next bad thing happen, not will the next bad thing happen is the question I ask the universe over and over. I wake up early in the morning with my mind on automatic pilot - listing things to worry about that haven't happened yet. To stop the thoughts and focus on the positive is uncomfortable because it means I will no longer be vigilant. It means that bad things could be coming and I'd have my back to them. Face them head on, says my subconscious. Be ready for them! Worrying is more uncomfortable, but my brain has its patterns and it likes those patterns, regardless of how awful they make me feel.

Of course worrying about them will reduce the enjoyment I can have now. Of course worrying about the things that might happen won't really prepare me for them if they do. And knowing all this doesn't end the worrying. If only it were that easy. So far, the worries that have actually crossed my mind lately are as follows...

1. My current relationship will end in any number of horrific ways. And I'm talking horrific. I will not list them here, because he might read them and I don't want him to know I've actually had these thoughts by reading them here. They're THAT off-base and paranoid. Let's just say that they'd all leave me destitute and heart-broken, never to trust another human being again.
2. He gets very, very sick and I am forced to watch the person I love most in the world suffer and then die (again).
3. I get very, very sick and am forced to experience what it is like to watch the person I love most in the world watch ME suffer and die.
4. My sweet, pampered indoor-only cats escape in their new neighborhood (I've just moved) and get hit by a car or disappear. This is a common bad dream of mine, actually.
5. I will not be able to find a good job once I finish school. I will end up destitute.
6. The new house burns to the ground.
7. I get brave enough to attempt motherhood and I lose the baby. Or the baby isn't healthy. Or the baby is healthy, only to succumb to some terrible disease later and I have to watch this person I love more than life itself suffer and die.
8. If any of these don't come to pass, there's a chance the world will end first and we'll all die at once. Have you heard about what we're doing to the environment? It's seriously not good.

So, while I can be very positive and upbeat, the truth is, it takes my brain .01 seconds to come up with the most elaborate of horrible scenarios and it takes much more effort to come up with the positive ones. I often wonder what my brain would be capable of it its software wasn't almost completely taken up by Possible Awful Events app.

What's the answer to this? I'm not sure. But I think the key to it is learning to live with it. Not fight it or make it stop, because that's a losing battle. Feel the fear and do stuff anyway. Watch as the world doesn't end just because I feel a split second of contentment. Notice as allowing myself to be happy doesn't bring misfortune my way. Act as though good stuff will happen. Learn to lovingly laugh at the miserable fantasies my brain concocts. Talk about them. They grow in power when they lurk in the dark of my mind. Shared with a loving friend, they cower in the light of exposure. Spend a few concentrated moments a day actively thinking up a great possible scenario (this is SO INCREDIBLY hard for me to do that I can so far only accomplish it for a few minutes a day).

We all have to do this. We all have to learn to go around each day, acting as though we don't know the truth. That none of us are immune to terrible things. They attack randomly, they don't play fair, and we can never really anticipate them, even when we worry incessantly.

Life is to be lived, though, and it's not about facing the fear by anticipating it, but by living large even though I continue to be afraid.


  1. Amen, Cassie. I try to train my brain to say "Do it afraid, even through tears and soon you'll defeat those fears."
    June 28 will mark 2 years for me and while I'm not ready for a new relationship, I often fear that when I find one, I'll sabotage it with some of your same fears - having to watch my new love die slowly (again), having him watch me die slowly (don't wish that on anyone) or doing all the things that are on my "just do it" list with my new love and not enjoying it because it was all the things that my hubby and I planned to do together.
    This PAE software is now permanently installed in our brains but we control when it's allowed to run and we don't have to upgrade it. The only way to clear it from the registry is to let go and let God (yep, I'm a computer geek and a religious person ��). I'm getting better at this little by little but since we aren't able to wipe the slate clean of catastrophic events, I'm trying to make peace with them and move forward. Peace and blessings be with all of us.

  2. I sooo get this Cassie.
    I too am doing what I think is well, but live in fear of the bottom dropping out.

    Why, why, why is it so hard to just enjoy today?

    And I'm fear that I keep most relationships at arms length away, (girlfriends, family, boyfriend, coworkers), because I think it's just easier in the long run.

    Thanks for sharing Cassie.

  3. Hello, after reading yr post, what I hear is living in a state of fear..I to hv thought many of those things.. They r all fear based.. It can be detrimental to everyday living on our bodies..since 98, I hv been studying Gods word..Fear vs Faith.. Fear is sin based, Faith is of God..if we choose God,we please God.. Now for me, when the accident happened, I was what??? Who me?? Us??? Why God??why us I mean after all we were an average, normal,? Lol , loving couple that prayed, loved, helped others, etc.., but here it comes Gods word says it rains on the righteous.. Just like the unrighteousness??what?? God gives us free will.. His gift.hmmm..Oh I was so mad at God.. He knew it.. He expected it..after all I thought he loved my husband?? Then how could this fatal thing happen to one u love?? A good man.. Oh my a good man.. Why??? I ask God, and then it was reavealed to me..he was sick..he had Ben doin Gods work for past years of his life..God assured me he was in heaven.., while n shock trama I prayed once I knw there may be no turning back, God please all I ask is let me knw he's alright and with you, Jesus came thru for us..It was all abt the Love..I've thought when I could get my mind together maybe write a book on it.? The entire experience..that would memorialize my beloved and he would help people from the Grave..oh how I misssss him..God has sustained me... It could only have been Him. His Grace.., because despondent doesn't begin to describe me for years after his death.. Drudge an dread..the one thing we don't knw is what's next? What's around corner? Faith.. Not fear satan will never win..