Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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To Be Afraid

My lovely mate and I enjoy watching the USA network show "Monk" starring Tony Shalhoub as private detective Adrian Monk. Adrian is afflicted by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and multiple phobias (312 to be exact). The funniest moments of the show focus on Adrian's fears and his reactions to moments that trigger his OCD and phobias. My mate and I sometimes eerily see ourselves in this show, with the laughter being mixed with recognition.

In this vein I believe the series is about fear. This is a poignant topic for me now. I spoke to a good friend today about their impulses. They are drawn to do things that they regret afterwards. I reflected that I am living an opposite life. I live in fear, dreading doing things and hence I don't act. I see an echo of this in the show "Monk". The news of his wife's death caused Adrian to suffer a nervous breakdown. He resigned from the force, and became a shut-in, refusing to leave his house for three years. I feel like this many days.

In the past I acted out, expressing my depression and fears to friends. Sadly I believe I was a bit dramatic. Now I just don't share. I don't want to burden them with the SAME complaints so many years later, when their most studied reply would be, "so, when will you act to change the situation?" Daily blogging has been a godsend in that I have an outlet for some parts of fearful existence. I share things here that I don't elsewhere. This has bugged some people and puzzled others. Ironically, I believe that some of the people most bugged are my polar opposites. They are the ones more likely to explosively express themselves. They are like my friend who is drawn to do things. There is nothing inherently wrong with this. It does create a gap of understanding between them and me. The puzzled people just wonder why I can't share more person-to-person (cyber hug to my mate!). I don't know.

Adrian wraps his fears in a blanket of OCD perfection. I can further relate to this. My life is not the neat-freak picture of Adrian. I do have my own "front" or "masks" of rightness. I strive for appearing perfect in my own ways and really dislike feeling imperfection. There is the "they've heard it too many times before" reason. There is also the aspect of my feeling embarrassed and weak. The outcome is that I shrink into a no-see-me cloak of blandness. I pick and choose where I want to shine. The rest of the time I am Mr. Invisible. Again, this blog is the exception to the rule, but it is only that, an exception.

The act of avoidance has a shadow side. I really want to be noticed. I want people to care about me. It is not unusual for a person to hold them life together, sometimes just by a string of sanity, and wonder why people aren't asking how they are doing. This leads to an insanity in which the person, myself in this case, longs to hide and be seen at the same time. SO what do I make of my "not acting out" and "not being dramatic". These intentions are a farce. My withdrawn behavior and fearful avoidance can speak as loud as any tantrum or obsessive action. I am so frustrated with myself.

Adrian continues on with the help of his assistant and a desire to heal. He reaches out to those who need his help even as he struggles himself. I guess this is the model of my life and many others. We all act "out" or "in" in our own ways, helping others and seeking help while we are trapped in the suffocating armor of fear.
Tags: fear, loathing, self-image

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