I guess there’s a need. My need. Either I write about my affliction or I accept that it will control me unconsciously. I’ve gone through months of the latter. I cannot let that stand. I am stronger than the person I have been lately. This affliction has challenged me in a way that I never believed possible. It found me at my weakest and struck hard and deep.
I buckled at the knees for weeks. My friends keep me afloat. I broke down and accepted defeat after reaching my limit. My parents, in all their goodness, pulled me up. They gave me the strength I needed. They told me that nothing was set; I could turn down the Peace Corps if I wasn’t strong enough. The knowledge and strength they transferred to me in those days were infinitely helpful; I found myself standing on my own feet once again with their help.
But now I face my challenger head on. I beat my affliction in every way but one. I beat him in endurance. I beat him in the sprint. But my affliction has an ability that surpasses me. My affliction is ever-present. So, when it comes to standing still, I am beaten. I cannot sit alone and think without slipping into the domain of my affliction. I must invade what my affliction claims as its territory with great force. For this is my true home. He does not belong there.
My affliction is fear.
It seems as though my mind has been laden with dry timber. It pollutes my mind and slows the thinking. Although the slog that this creates is disturbing, there is so much more. Whenever I find myself with a spark of fear, it is as though my entire mind ignites. I must focus all my attention on dousing the flames of panic or else accept that the attack will be complete and debilitating.
Driving in rain. Thinking about death. Talking with a friend about the future. Thinking about a difficult choice. These are the things one must encounter in order to take on daily life. I do not take them on. They take me for a wild ride. When the panic subsides, I have done little thinking on the matters of great importance. Instead, I have used all my mental effort to calm myself. How has it gotten so bad? How have I become so afraid?
I must clear the timber. I must make it so that my mind is clear. Of that, I know of only three methods. First there is reading. Reading and the transfer of knowledge has already allowed me to use my mental capacity for the better. Second is directed thought. By allowing myself to sit back with no electronics, I will force myself to take these problems head on. Lastly is meditation. Mediation is the cleanup crew of the brain. With these three methods, I hope to clear myself of my daily fear.
This is the first time I’ve been able to write about my affliction.
Step One: Complete