“Panic is terror distilled, a bouillon cube of anxiety for your already-rattled nervous system.”
This is A Cure for Fear, a monthly column by Laura Turner on working, creating, and living with anxiety.
It was a late spring afternoon in the Midwest and I was driving my white Ford Escort south on Barrington Road, past wide green lawns crisscrossed with the patterns of lawnmowers. Sprinklers clicked and sprayed and the turbid air was heavy with the threat of an afternoon thunderstorm. The road bisected a divided landscape, rural on one side—corn fields and large, low-slung homes—suburban on the other. Past the Blockbuster, past the bank where I had opened my first savings account with six months’ worth of allowance, past the Little Caesars and the lake you weren’t allowed to swim in because of the incredible number of Canadian geese who made it their toilet. I had a ribbon tied to my car’s gearshift—shiny, blue on one side and pink on the other—and I thumbed it as I drove.
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I have been afraid most days of my life, which is what anxiety is, and the months of this pregnancy have been the most anxious of my life.
“I know I am about to be afraid, and I am also about to be just fine. This is controlled terror.”
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“We could wrap our heads around theology and bullshit around a bonfire. What we never had was a vocabulary for fear.”