Day 7, Tuesday: The thing(s) you're most afraid of.
There was only one thing that immediately jumped to my mind when I read the subject of today's post. I mean sure, I have more than one fear.
I have all the usual ones, of course. I'm terrified of losing my family and friends, and I'm filled with a sense of awe when I look at those around me who have lost loved ones and still maintain some semblance of functionality. I don't think I could do it.
I'm scared of failing - something that links to yesterday's post. I'm scared of messing up, of not being able to do something. My self-esteem is fragile enough to find the thought of failure terrifying.
I'm scared that - God forbid - something bad will happen to me. That I'll leave the house one day and never come back. Not necessarily because of what that would mean for me - more because of those that are left behind. I'm scared that I won't get a chance to tell people how important they are. Also because it would mean my parents finding my bank statements, which I'm almost certain would give the pair of them a coronary on the spot.
I'm scared of ending up alone. Yes, I know I'm 22. Yes, I know that chances are this will not be the case. A lot of this fear in particular is down to my job and my own messed up neurosis. I'm in that dreadful post-breakup-except-it-wasn't-a-real-breakup-because-we-weren't-together stage where all I hear in any social situation is how I should already be out there dating new people. And I have been. I've been on a few dates. They were hideously tedious and awkward and not an experience I have any particular desire to repeat any time soon. I blame it on work being so time-consuming and energy sapping, but what if I always feel like that? And then what if, one day, I wake up and suddenly realise that I'm 48 and I've spent my entire life not bothering with people? That I'm actually dried up and alone with nothing to show for my efforts except my job? That is a thought that scares me. I spend quite a lot of my time worrying about that.
So yeah, all of those things scare me. But there is one thing that terrifies me above and beyond everything else.
Blindness. I am absolutely petrified of going blind.
This may seem slightly strange - allow me to elaborate. I have bad eyes - I have done since I was 12. Probably before, but that's when the headaches and squint got bad enough for me to end up at the opticians. For a while they gradually got worse, then the rate seemed to increase. It is now no longer a gradual decrease of visual field - it's become a hurtling descent into blindness. Every time I go to the opticians I get the concerned look as they pile higher and higher prescriptions in front of my face to find the one that actually allows me to see more than 30cm beyond the end of my nose. In the three months since my last contact lens check-up, my left eye has decreased by a further .25. Means nothing to a lot of you, but most people's decrease by less than that over the course of a year. If anything. Me? Three months. Three tiny, insignificant months.
Laser eye surgery is an option. Eventually. When I have the money. Right now I'm limited to contact lenses and glasses and getting good at reading the signs my body sends me. Twitch in the left eye? Time to head to the opticians again. Stomach-turningly severe headache radiating from the centre of my brain? Definitely time to head to the opticians again.
I don't want to go blind. More than anything else in the world, I can't bear the thought of going blind. Sometimes if I sit up too fast my left eye goes blank - apparently nothing to do with my eyesight and everything to do with me bolting out of bed and not allowing my blood a chance to circulate to important parts of my body, such as my brain - and I'm gripped with panic at the thought of it never coming back. I think I could handle almost anything else, but the thought of ending up in the dark truly terrifies me.
That and spiders. Ugh.