Writing Prompt: Fear

Is all fear negative?

I’ve been wondering about this a lot lately. Someone dear to me is in the hospital. It was sudden and we don’t the know outcome, but upon hearing the news, the first thing I felt was fear. It was as though someone had dropped an ice cube into my heart. I stood quite still and cold shot through to every part of me for only a second, but it was enough. My common sense and need for more information overrode my fear and I pushed the panic away, but in that moment a hundred thoughts flashed. Will she recover, what happened, how could I foresee the rest of my days without her in them, what do I do, should I cancel a meeting, is the her cat ok, what’s her condition, who should I tell, do I wear heels as I intended that day or flats in case I need to travel to get to her? In other words, my mind, for that brief moment, was a mess.

What is interesting is that fear also helped remind me of how important this person is to me. There was no indifference or “oh, what a shame”, it was terror.

Sometimes I’m afraid for myself as well as others, but I’ve always tried to overcome my fears to make sure I don’t miss out on this in this lovely, complicated and achingly short thing called life. At other times, I wish I was more fearful because I know a degree of fear will keep me safe. How do we find the right balance? It is common sense, some degree of Darwinism?

I’m not necessarily afraid of dying, but I’m afraid of allowing death to interfere with the things I have not yet experienced. I’m afraid of leaving the people I love and more than anything, I’m afraid of them leaving me.

Write a few paragraphs about fear. Either a narrative in which your main character must overcome a fear or write a personal narrative about how you perceive fear in general. You might be surprised by what you find.

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