Friday, September 1, 2023

2023 Word of the Year: FEAR: Freedom and Imprisonment


Do not walk on lunar surface. Exhibit at shopping mall. Alamogordo, New Mexico. August 2023. Photo credit: Mzuriana.
Do not walk on lunar surface. Exhibit at shopping mall. Alamogordo, New Mexico. August 2023. Photo credit: Mzuriana**

Fear has freed me.

Fear has shackled me.

A favorite saying: We don't change until our backs are against the wall AND the wall is on fire. 

One night, when my daughter was very young, I experienced a fear that I might die from an eating binge that night, leaving my child without a mother. The fear pushed me into an arduous path to remission from an eating disorder, which took years to attain. 

A smoker for much of my life, as I entered middle age, I knew that if I contracted an illness associated with smoking that I would despise myself. Plus, I was afraid I would contract such an illness. This fear of self-hate and the fear of illness pushed me to quit smoking. For me, I was fortunate to do well under Chantix. Otherwise, I don't think I would have been able to quit. The nicotine patches didn't do it. Welbutrin, prescribed off-label, didn't do it (not to mention I had a serious allergic reaction to same). The desire to quit, by itself, didn't do it.

I knew (know) that if I later ended up with an illness associated with smoking, notwithstanding my having quit, that at least I wouldn't hate myself. 

Fear is similar to pain in that it can alert us to the need to pay attention, to evaluate, to take action (or to not take action, as may appropriate). 

Some fears suggest that I conduct scenario planning for possible futures. 

You know, like the zombie apocalypse.

**Don't know why this photo felt appropriate to this post. I'll go with this: Robert Heinlein's best book: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. And Heinlein's admonition to the students in Tunnel in the Sky: Beware the stobor. .... Because there will always be stobor, although we won't know what they might look like or at what point they will pop up. Be alert.


The 2023 word of the year thus far

  1. January: FEAR: Looking Into the Abyss Without Falling In
  2. February: FEAR: Fuck Everything And Run
  3. March: FEAR: Forgetting Everything's All Right
  4. April: FEAR: Take More Risks
  5. May: FEAR: Feelings Expressed Allow Relief
  6. June: FEAR: Face Everything And ... Rise
  7. July: FEAR: Frustration, Ego, Anxiety, Resentment
  8. August: FEAR: Face Everything And ... Recover 


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