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The Master of Fear



Sometimes fear is permanent

There is no conquering it

No escaping it

You must either live or die by it

Sometimes it is deep and violent

The kind of fear that freezes your limbs,

seizes control of your organs,

muddles your mind,

and carves at your heart


Sometimes fear is both of those things

Permanent

Volatile

A living, breathing being that attaches to your soul

A Terror


You live or you die by it

It rules you or you rule it

Because there is no removing it

There is no taming it


I am not dying today


So I live in spite of it

A symbiotic relationship

Where I carry it around, its weight heavy

It feeds me power, my strength bolstered


I'm not dying today

So I live with the terror


It becomes another part of my body

A muscle to condition

To regulate


Only with great power can I command it

My terror


I am aware of its constant touch, its cuts

I am conscious of its constant poison, its haze

I am not debilitated by it

Not anymore


I live with it

I live in spite of it

I embrace it


It never ceases

There is never a break

But, it undulates

It sharply expands

And smoothly contracts

Tightens, suffocates in response to stimuli


My body is trained now

Muscle Memory

Breathe In and Out

Too ragged

Try again

Breathe

Unclench

Relax my eyes: they're too wide

Exhale

Drop my gaze

The threat is real, but there's nothing I can do

I have to walk straight into it.

Release

Exhale

Feel the sweat

The heartbeat

Breathe

Exhale

Feel the sweat

Feel my heartbeat

Breathe

Exhale

The fear contracts, recedes

But, never goes too far inside

Just enough that the paralysis passes

All within the span of several breaths


I can move again

One foot in front of the other

I float above

I watch myself

Insisting that my limbs react

One foot

Another

Graceful

Shoulders back

Another foot

I step confidently

I observe from above

My body trembles

Wracking

Ever so slight that they have to be felt to be noticed

I smile

I'm back inside myself

In that chair

I force myself to sit

To give everyone a greeting

To chat

I flinch as they open their sterile wrappers

The fear spikes

My heartbeat drums, echoing along with their jokes in my ears

So loud

My eyes are wide again, memorizing every detail around me

I can smell the disinfectants

Taste the metallic scent on my tongue

In apprehension

My hearing is too acute

Everything is too sharp, too bright


I inhale

Slowly

I command myself

I call for calm

I speak to them, politely, a mask of normal on my face, in my voice

I don't know if I am fooling anyone

Release my hands

Unclench my jaw

Exhale

Slowly

Breathe in and out

Keep moving


I do it over and over again

Minute after minute

Hour after hour

Day after day

Night after night

No break

No rest

No reprieve

Terror stalks me

Fear lives within me

Plays with me

Claims me

But, it does not master me

It does not control me

That power is mine

And, mine alone

That power is who I am

I am a creature to be feared myself

I am the master of my fear

And, that makes me unstoppable

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