I've spent my entire life worried and afraid.
I was afraid to disappoint and/or embarrass my granny and father with bad grades and poor life decisions. I was afraid to tell my granny I wanted to move across the state to Pittsburgh at 17 years old. I was afraid to have sex with a loser so I waited. I was afraid to get pregnant and if I took my pill 10 minutes late I was sure I would just spontaneously get pregnant. I was afraid to go on interviews in my senior year at Pitt because I STILL didn't know what the hell I wanted to do as a career. When I got fired from my first job, I was afraid I wouldn't get another. After many years at my first real job, I decided it was time to try something new and I was afraid to leave my "good government job" to go to private industry. After all, didn't those people work into the middle of the night and then get fired on a whim? I was convinced that was how it went.
I was so afraid that I'd die at 33, like my mother did, that I was forbidden from accessing WebMD because I was convinced I had every ailment known to man. It wasn't until I turned 34 that I thought I had a chance of making it. I was desperately afraid that the bullying my daughter experienced (that I couldn't seem to end) would completely unravel her. I was afraid she'd get pregnant. I spent sooo many years worried about that so when she told me she was, I crumbled on the spot. I was always afraid of making someone mad at me, especially my husband and even my kids. There is a character in the movie, "The Secret Life of the Bees" who took in everyone else's emotions and it slowly killed her. I understood her struggle. If a significant other is mad, I'm mad, sad, I'm sad, etc. I was even afraid for my kids to be mad at me. These people, who were so close to me, had far too much power over my life and it was maddening. See, if you see yourself as a smart person, who makes good decisions, then this constant feeling of weakness is an unending source of despair and depression. You ask yourself, "How come SHE can be so strong and I can't?" It's really a body blow when people see you as an inspiration, a role model and you feel like a fraud.
Well, as it turns out, none of the really terrible stuff, I worried about, like dying, ever happened. Yep, my kid had a kid but as you see from my many posts, he's a constant source of joy and his arrival showed me my daughter's real strength.
Fear can cause complete paralysis and you'll find yourself eating too much, drinking too much and tolerating wayyyy more than you should.
I found out in 2015 that standing up for yourself and "Doing it Afraid" will not only NOT kill me, it won't kill others either.
Being able to fully view and realize your strength before it's too late is like God giving you more time on your clock.
Whatever is holding you down and back, find a way to let it go and walk off into your real life. It's a feeling like no other.