Fear: Deep-Seeded in Modern Society

I’ve had this concept floating around in my mind all week: fear stemming from past events can shape present perception. Of course, I think the majority of us are becoming more and more aware of the validity of this statement. After all, fear is a normal part of the human psyche and the animal kingdom as a whole.

It once served solely as a form of protection to steer us away from life-threatening situations, but as modern society and the modern intellect formed, the need to fear once-imminent dangers drastically decreased, leaving the mind free to assign fear to numerous situations, whether the threat be actual or perceived.

Throw in our reactions and conditioning from past experiences, and the fear spirals into a myriad of emotions that are typically viewed as negative, i.e. hate, anger, anxiety, and even depression and a sense of hopelessness. I personally contribute the negative way I often view relationships and my periodically returning fear of losing everyone to past trauma, grief, and the bitter endings of every connection that I have lost up until this point. If given too much idle time to ponder, my mind will take my present, semi-isolated state and project that into a doomed future, which I obviously have no actual way of knowing, but my ridiculous brain tries it’s best to convince me otherwise.

Rather than belittling each other for our fears, it is extremely important that we acknowledge our own and those of others. Even if it seems preposterous to us, that fear is very real to the person experiencing it. Once the fear is recognized, we can begin to identify the underlying reasons behind it and find ways to help overcome it, including exposure therapy, learning new coping skills, and behavioral reconditioning.

As with all other ailments of the human condition, kindness is key. Always strive for compassion towards others.

How Did I Get Here?

This first post is going to give my readers a little more information about who I am and how I ended up writing this blog. I am a 44-year-old widow turned writer, poet and photographer.

 I actually started off my early adult life wanting to include writing and photography in my career choice in at least some capacity. I earned an associates degree in liberal arts with an emphasis on English Literature, but at some point, between that time and meeting my late husband, I switched gears to studying pharmacy. I earned my certification as a pharmacy technician and was furthering my studies, hoping for a master’s in pharmacology.

But all of that came to a halt when I had to have major surgery in 2014. I never went back to school after that. In the fall of that year, my husband gave me my first DSLR camera for my birthday, which once again sparked my interest in photography, and I have been pursing that as a hobby since that time.

In the summer of 2015, we found out that my husband’s brain cancer had returned, which dictated our lives for the next four years. We both put everything else on hold to focus on that. I continued practicing my photography skills, but it was hit and miss with everything else going on. At the end of 2016, I quit my job to take care of him full time, and never returned to that line of work, eventually allowing my certification to expire.

Despite all our efforts with “conventional medical treatments” (don’t even get me started on that), his disease progressed, and his health took a serious turn for the worst in the later part of 2018, eventually leading to his death in January of 2019.

The first year after that was spent in a thick fog of grief. I was stuck in limbo trying to decide exactly what I should do with the rest of my life. I knew I didn’t want to return to the medical field that had failed us so miserably, but I had no other apparent options.

I was stuck in a severe bout of writer’s block. The only true joy I found was in hiking and photography, which I participated in as much as my depression would allow. Finally, in the summer of 2020 during a state of world pandemic chaos, I started to have a breakthrough.

From that time up until now has been an absolute whirlwind of creativity. I have written more poems than I thought I could in an entire lifetime, and my photography has become a main focus of my life rather than just a hobby.

And so, here I am today, pouring my heart into both and hoping for maybe a little professional success from each.