Several years ago, an acronym for FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real– became popularly used and frequently quoted.
For the longest time, I too was one of the diligent believers in this saying. I habitually relied on it whenever trying situations called for some sage words of wisdom.
That is, until I started going through my own personal hell.
At that point, fear and I became inseparable. I didn’t deal with anything without fear being a part of the experience too. Back then, we really bonded and were quickly becoming BFFs.
Without fear by my side, I couldn’t have made it through my divorce.
Fear served as a reliable barometer for assessing the magnitude of the never-ending schemes that Dick continually dreamed up on how to torment me.
Fear warned me about potential danger in some very specific ways. When the little hairs on the back of my neck (as well as on the rest of my body) rose and stood at attention like well-trained soldiers and when my heart started palpitating wildly and forcefully out of the blue, like an urgent, ominous knock on the door from an unknown stranger, I knew that something was about to go down and to prepare myself in any way that I could.
I have fear to thank for that!
As crazy as this may sound, the more that I experienced this phenomenon, the more I realized that FEAR was one of the good things I had going for me.
As a result, I had to go back and reassess the validity of the acronym that had given me comfort until I took it out for a test drive and it failed miserably.
In my case, False Evidence Appearing Real, was totally false.
All of the evidence that presented itself to me on a regular basis was absolutely real.
If I would have disregarded everything that happened to me, most likely I wouldn’t be here right now writing about my experiences or doing anything else, for that matter.
So I needed some other sage words to hold onto to get me through my mess.
That’s when I found another acronym for FEAR – Face Everything and Rise.
That one was doable. At least the Face Everything part. Rising, on the other hand, remained to be seen.
If nothing else, it gave me something to strive for… which was a good thing … considering I’ve always been an overachiever.
And it went well with my self-created mantra – I don’t think. I don’t feel. I just deal.
Facing everything and dealing became my dynamic duo plan of attack. My very own personal version of Batman and Robin.
Not thinking and not feeling became necessary to complete the process.
It was perfect!
Had I thought about what I was going through and felt the emotions that were muffled and silenced below the surface, I would have been a total goner.
Then depression and desperation would have taken over. I’m sure there aren’t any good acronyms for those.
Without a good acronym, it would have been game over for me.
So I stoically carried on till the bitter end. And boy, was the end bitter!
But my acronym and mantra served their purpose and got me through the worst of things. They were no longer needed. It was time to retire them.
I needed something to go along with my new life as a recently divorced, single woman who was put through the ringer.
Scouring the internet, I came across several hopefuls that were vying for the honor of becoming my chosen FEAR acronym – whose responsibility would be to accompany me down this unchartered path.
However, nothing caught my attention and truly captured the way I was feeling.
So I decided to create my own.
Here it is:
FEAR – F*ck Entirety and Retreat.
More to come….