by Lori Dwyer on August 25, 2011 · 16 comments

After I posted The Pyschology of Phraseology, I was asked this question by my Twitter mate Miss Pink…

“Do you think that you are less afraid or it’s that you’re more reckless?”

She was worried she’d offended me by asking….

It takes a lot to offend me, a lot to get my nose out of joint. As you may have noticed, I’m big on being honest. So any questions are always welcome. About pretty much anything. I like to know what other people want to know about my situation.

So, never hesitate to ask. There are a few subjects where I prefer to hold my cards close, but not many. And I’ll tell you to bugger off if I don’t want to answer, or, more likely, ignore you completley.

Anyway. In response to Miss Pink’s query, it’s a bit of both. A chicken-and-egg kind of thing.

I’m still afraid. I’m terrified. Of everything. Even going to the post office this morning was an exercise in bravery and self confidence. The rest of my life? Absolutley petrifying.

It was all OK, you see. I spent most of my early twenties being afraif of my life, my adult life, afriad of being alone.

And then I found Tony.

And he made me feel safe.

The rest of my life…. it was still scary, a bit. But I had the love of my life to work with me, to be happy with me… to take care of me, and keep me safe.

And then I lost him.

That fear, of being alone, of what the fuck will I do with the rest of my life, was instensified to the point where it was almost paralysing. If I could have stayed, quaking, sobbing, screaming in hysteria, frozen in time… I would have.

But I didn’t have that choice. Time moves on. I had to pick up and keep going. I had to walk away from my husband’s body. I had to tell my son his father was dead. I had to attend my husband’s funeral.

And all of that was fucking terrifying too.

But I did it.

And once it was done- not because I was particularly brave or strong, but because time is a bitch and it just won’t sit still… once it was done, what was there to be afraid of?

Having to do it again? Surely. But, having never lost anyone close to me before Tony, at least next time I will do it with the knowledge that I can.

So… I have this knowledge that I can do the scariest, most horrible things if I have to. It’s not a particulary nice thing to carry around, this knowledge- it’s lonely, and harsh and ugly, othing sweet or comforting about it.

But I have it.

And, consequently, I’m not as afraid anymore. Of anything.

Which leads onto being more reckless.

And I am more reckless- less afraid of travelling, of thinking, of pain… of everything. So I guess I do things- piercings, sex, this blog…. all of which have inherent risks.

Because I’m not so afraid of the consequences anymore. I’m still responsible, and hyper aware (thanks, post traumatic stress disorder) of the consequences of my actions.

I’m just not so afraid of them anymore.

Whatever it may be… will it be any worse than what I’ve already been through?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Webdance August 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I've been following, quietly, for so many months, amazed at your growth Lori. This post–you are so, so right. The knowledge of enduring the unimaginable can either cripple or liberate. I know I've survived the worst that life will ever ask of me. It's not recklessness, though it appears that way to others. It is the solid knowledge that you can do anything. You are STRONG, and I am so proud of you.


Annabellz August 27, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Ghad zooks!!! I can so relate to the fear of everything… I haven't been through anything that big so fear is still a majoooor part of my world but from time to time I find myself in that "fearless"… something happens on the lower end of the scale and I'm willing to face life w/o my armor. Not often enough though. I can relate to finding that man who makes it possible to feel safe… my mother told me once I should love my husband less because if he died I wouldn't be able to cope. Of course I realized how bloody jealous she was I found the love of my life when she was stuck in a hateful marriage for so long. (My dad may he RIP was never the man of her dreams and fatherhood was not his strong suit by a long shot) Your love has made you stronger… your loss has not diminished you. (Although at times you would do anything to have not lost Tony).


Lori @ RRSAHM August 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Anonymous, your comment has been removed. You have every right to voice your opinion, but please don't be nasty, especially to people who are offering love and support.


Kelloggsville August 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

I am sorry going to the post office was scarey (to be quite frank most people that work behind the counter frighten the hell out of me! but I know you didn't mean in that way) but I really appreciate the trip you made, if it was the one on my behalf x

My dad made me feel safe, then he was gone xx

I'm still afraid and I am so pleased you are finding your feet, I find reading your footsteps inspiring xxx


Shellye August 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

ANONYMOUS, it's obvious that you have nothing better to do than demean others to make yourself feel better.

1. Get a life.

2. Learn to love yourself (instead of putting people down when you don't have the courage to show your face OR your name)


Anonymous August 26, 2011 at 10:55 am

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Shellye August 26, 2011 at 4:26 am

I was taught, "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Thanks for shedding some light on the subject and proving the above statement partially false. It doesn't make you stronger, really, it just shows you that you will do what you have to do even if you don't want to do it go through it. The strength must come later.

I am still praying for you.


River August 25, 2011 at 9:46 pm

At first I thought you were maybe being a little reckless because you were afraid to be afraid, pushing your limits instead, but after reading the post thoroughly, I see this is not the case. I agree with Veggie Mama.


Melissa August 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm

What a thoughtful and insightful post. It's scary to even consider what I might do after having survived my absolute worst fears made real. You're an amazing person, Lori. Thank you for sharing your truth here.


King of New York Hacks August 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm

So true…thanks for such an honest post…many people never understand the risks we take after losing someone so close and experiencing what seems like a final end… only to see that the path just opened wider for us and slightly ignore the consequences that lie ahead as we open our wings and take another leap…great post . : )


Miss Pink August 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Thank you for answering.
And thank you for not being offended.
Nothing I ever say or ask will be with the intention to hurt you.
Sometimes I may overstep my place with curiosity, but I just want to understand.

I have more I want to say, but I might email you.


Veggie Mama August 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I hear ya. Sometimes it's a pendulum… extreme fear to extreme recklessness once you find out you're gonna be ok. It settles somewhere in the middle, but you're way more kickass than before xo


Madam Bipolar August 25, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I can so fucking relate to this: "And, consequently, I'm not as afraid anymore. Of anything." Mental illness has made me that way. Once you have seen the unimaginable side of life, it kind of frees up other anxieties.
Great post, but of course. xxx


Good Golly Miss Holly! August 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

You rock my world Lori x


Crystal August 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I can understand that; like you said, you've already gone through the worst and survived, so why would you be afraid of other things anymore? Love your honesty, as always.

PS: I hope today was a better day.


Poppy August 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I am not religious by any means so please do not take my post the wrong way. Have you ever read the book "The 5 people you meet in Heaven"? It is a great read if you can. It says that there are 5 people we meet on earth who have been sent to teach us a lesson or guide us on a certain path. At the time we don't know it but we meet the 5 on the other side & they then explain the gift they gave us here on earth. Perhaps if nothing else this has taught you the gift of strength & of recklessness – and they can be great qualitites to possess. I always wish I had more strength & was a little more reckless so perhaps that gift may also come to me some day as well.


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