We’ve been together for 6 years now, and I feel like it’s finally time for me to express my love and gratitude that I have for you given everything we’ve been through.
When I first met you as a young girl, I was captivated. I turned to you to play games like Tag and Duck, Duck, Goose. It didn’t take me long to notice and ultimately wonder why you got along with other kids more than me. You made me feel weak as I stood there gasping for air. And the others…well? You made them laugh and smile. Why didn’t I get the euphoria? Why were you punishing me? I thought running was a natural human power, but why did I not deserve it?
As I got older, our relationship worsened. I tried to ignore you until I had no choice but to face you in gym class. I was forced to be friends with you. We played mind games with one another. You caused me pain, and boy did it hurt like hell.
Years had passed, and I finally thought that I was free from your torture. I didn’t have to face you, nor did I ever want to.
“Do you love yourself?” If you were to approach me in early 2009 and ask me that question, it would’ve been blatantly obvious that I didn’t. And not necessarily obvious with words, but with the way that I carried myself.
There I was, 20 years old, living a highly sedentary lifestyle in a 230+ pound shell. I didn’t communicate with many people, much less myself. I allowed myself to be bullied into silence by my peer’s comments, which left me feeling completely ashamed and worthless to all walks of life. Some days, I didn’t even want to get out of bed, nor did I feel like I had a reason for doing so. I self-medicated with food, and my unhealthy eating habits spiraled out of control for a majority of my young life. I was alive, but I wasn’t living.
To rid me of this empty void within my heart and soul, I brainwashed myself into thinking that food was my only comfort in life. Food made me feel alive, even just for a short moment…it gave me a high. But once it was gone, the feeling went away.
My hatred towards myself became so strong that I was completely oblivious to the fact that I was slowly killing myself with food…something whose purpose, ironically, is to aid in our survival.
Fear is a primal emotion. And you know what? I’m driven by it. I don’t believe in destroying fear before it destroys you. I don’t want to fight against something that will never cease to exist. I don’t want to waste my energy on the idea in which we can brainwash ourselves into thinking there is control over something that is inevitable. Fear is a natural response to potentially harmful ideas or situations. But fear is a double-edged sword. Fear can be just as destructive as it is constructive.
Where does fear come from? It starts young. Our caretakers often teach us to fear at a young age. Strangers. Heights. Separation. Darkness. Some fears just occur naturally. These fears bestowed upon ourselves teach us that sometimes bad things are on the other side of fear. And that’s okay. That’s why fear exists. It’s part of life, and we learn to adapt as we grow in order to protect one another. Some fears are meant to be a warning signal, so maybe you stop and think, “Should I do this?” “Can I get hurt?” There are no hero points rewarded for intentionally coming into harm’s way.
Hi! My name is Adrian or Adreen if you happen to be a Starbucks Barista. I’ve gotten Adrean, AJ, Adrain, and so many more crazy variations of my name. It’s always an adventure. You’ll often see my cups of iced coffee on my Instagram account (chasefear). I’m a bit of a coffee (more like Starbucks) fanatic. There’s nothing better than a good cup of coffee and a relaxing atmosphere after a long run or race.
So, I may look familiar to some of you. It could be one of two reasons:
1.) You know me personally. Hello!
2.) You may have been an avid reader/follower of chasefear.com (hosted though Tumblr), which I regretfully deleted.
I was going through a lot of personal issues at the time, and I had to focus on myself…especially with my ongoing health crisis. I was amidst trying to receive a diagnosis along with dealing with an ugly breakup. Long story short: I have chronic Lyme disease, but more about that later.
Or perhaps, you don’t know me at all. If so, welcome!