Why am I always afraid? It’s been the question lurking behind every move I think in my head with every step I make, or more appropriately, do not make, in my entire life.
I talk a good talk, to my children, co-workers, husband, and friends. I rationalize reasons for bravery, bold decisions, steps towards success, yet I don’t follow through on any of them, and agonize in my head until I beat myself up into an unworthy pulp of an undeserving mess.
I come as close to the wall of despair, fear, and suffocation until I can no longer stand the situation or myself, and then I make a move to change whatever is currently tangled in my stream of consciousness.
Many of my goals are not yet met. I long to write, to put down on paper the experiences and stories I’ve witnessed, and can’t seem to get to those. I want to create memories out of fabric to memorialize my mom, but balk at the times when doing so are clearly right in front of me. I long to travel and spend time with my brothers. I find myself sitting and making excuses for plopping my ass down and just sitting.
I ignore my health, knowing how beneficial exercise is, only to do the bare minimum to keep myself healthy. I have chosen to do all these things despite knowing the truth, despite knowing I’m making stupid choices.
When I ask myself why, and I can’t come up with an intelligent answer expect one. I am afraid.
Today, I needed to challenge myself, smashed up against a thick wall of fear and nowhere else to go, I had to call the doctor.
With no apologies, I will share the most embarrassing (to me anyway) condition I have been dealing with for way too long now. Hemorrhoids. Dear God Almighty.
I clearly remember when these small but mighty annoyances came into my life. I was only 23 years old and nine months pregnant. I simply stretched across the front of the car, reaching towards the passenger side door handle, and I thought my ass passed an orange. It was my first hemorrhoid.
They continued to plague me with the next three pregnancies and always subsided, so no big deal, right?
Flash forward about thirty years, and two knee replacements later. I got severely constipated using painkillers, and am constantly reminded of how many others may be also, with the relentless television commercials around the news hours these days. I think they call it “opioid induced constipation."
It took only two weeks of pain meds for me to screw up my system, but my sphincter also does not like Tylenol or ibuprofen either, and so for way too long, it has been a real pain to take a poop. I’ve used stool softeners, laxatives, drank disgusting tea, and have an enormous container of Metamucil looking at me, which I am afraid to try.
However, today I called the doctor and made an appointment because I am bleeding a lot out my butt. It scares me, and of course, I am thinking the worse, and tagging items in the house to give to my children.
The fear comes not only from seeing red water in the toilet, but because my dad had colorectal cancer, and so I realize I’m an idiot for not attending to this problem six months ago.
Now I will obsess about it until Friday, my appointment day, and then go on and have the dreaded colonoscopy.
As with almost everything else in my life, my fears are usually unfounded. I will be positive with the outcome of this situation, and my brain will go on to focus on the next imagined disaster. I will lull myself back to complacency with unattended promises to and a moderate amount of self-loathing and disappointment as a person who can’t get their shit together, or even out, as the case may be.
North Chesterfield, VA