Fear is a Four Letter Word

Don’t get ahead of me. I’m not talking about my favorite bit of profanity. It’s the other, “F word.” It’s Fear. Better yet, the two appear in one of my favorite acronyms: F.E.A.R.

F@ck
Everything
And
Run

– Or –

Face
Everything
And
Recover

It’s a choice we make to either avoid or invest in a better life. Fear is what limits us most. To make it manageable, we do “everything” one thing at a time and we don’t do it alone.

The most important part of being a therapist is helping people find their own truth. This requires clarity (fear f@cks perception). Nothing in life is really all that complicated. It’s all fairly simple to understand and hard to do. We complicate and obfuscate, intellectualize, and analyze because we hate how things feel.

We struggle because we fight our battles alone. We reason that this way we’re the only ones who can get hurt. Implicit in this idea is that it’s okay to hurt ourselves. Step back. How do we win when we fight against ourselves? We do this shit because we’re afraid. The ways in which we deal with fear are limiting at best and destructive at worst.

I urge folks to consider that if the only fear we face is the fear of letting others really know us, then we don’t ever have to face another fear alone (lonely, overwhelming, and filled with blind spots). We need people we can be real with before we’ll ever get to the heart of the matter. Nobody gets out of hell alone. Nobody.

If you’re on the outside looking in, the truth isn’t hard to see and the solutions aren’t hard to find. If you’re on the inside looking out, you think, “No. If I let you know who I really am…you’ll see how screwed up I am and run in the opposite direction.”

Good news – we’re all screwed up. The very best of us anyway. And we don’t judge. Stop. Check yourself. Do you judge others the way you judge you? If I’ve done everything you’ve done…if I’ve lived through everything you have…does that make you NOT want to know me?

Or does it seem that maybe I could understand something about what it’s like to be you? We all want to be understood. We all want acceptance, love and support. We want all that and much more. Turns out we can have it. All that’s required is that we let others in. Just listen to your gut (not your heart – it lies) and you know who to let close and who not to.

I don’t know that words alone can convince you so here’s the best I can describe it:

I want to bear my soul to you… because I want you to see that it’s possible… to sew the pieces back together… no matter how many there are. See the stitching? That’s the love of good people. It’s never too late and we’re never too far gone. Just believe that I believe.

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.