The Fear of Happiness



Some have this fear, and some ride through life fearless in the ways of happiness. Here's some insight on why happiness can strike fear in our hearts.

When I was very young, I always wanted a boyfriend. I have been looking for love since I was two years old. You would think that that would mean when I find it, I'd keep it. This hasn't always been true, though, and I know why. True happiness is what we all strive for, but what happens when it goes away? If life has to end, then so must the love that life is all about.  

Around 12 or 13 years old, I thought I was in love for the first time. When it was over, I was devastated. He didn't love me back, and I was forced to end the relationship with a boy that started out as my friend. I probably cried for the entire time it took me to make the decision to just end it, but this was nothing compared to my second love. With him, I made it longer than I had with the first, and then I got scared around six months into the relationship. He had just told me a month or two before that that he loved me, and I reciprocated. Once I realized what I had done (which was written him a letter and send it through the mail), I was not immediately regretful. As the months fluttered by, though, I was forced to yet again write a letter, this time begging for forgiveness for not knowing how much I loved him. We got back together, and inevitably broke up again, this time he broke up with me. That's when love hit me. I wasn't just devastated, I was broken. Literally, mentally broken. The world literally crashed around me and it took all I had to just hang up the phone.

These are the normal experiences of a teenager, but the feeling clung with me into my next relationships. I got to the point where I was the happiest I had ever been, and when it was taken away... Happiness was no longer something I wanted. Why do we have to lose love to discover that we had it all along? It was right in front of our face, but we missed it. We waited too long to make our move. Whatever it is that the fear makes you do could alter your life, but you do it anyways. 

For me, it wasn't that I was afraid to be happy. I've always been afraid that as soon as I love someone, really love someone, that they'll decide they don't love me. The moment we realize what we've lost, though, we go back and try to catch it again. It's the feeling of needing to be with that person that drives us to do irrational things. The happiest I've ever been is equivalent to the crushed feeling when that happiness is gone. Even the bad times start to feel like they weren't so bad, and it makes me wonder how many other people ruin their own happiness due to the terror of the equivalent unhappiness. 

I've learned to live with the fear. I love hard, and I have to deal with that and be honest with myself. When you love with all that you are, honesty is key. The fear will always be there, but the joy is so addicting. Now, after three years of marriage, I fight a battle between wanting to die before him but wanting him to die first so that he never has to feel like that, either. It will be the most unhappy I've ever been in my life, but the joy he brought to my life will have been worth it. We will live past heartache and loss. We have to, or we will never find the joy again. Love sucks, but we all want to be a part of the club.

It's really not fair that we have to learn to love. There is no rule book, and every relationship is unique. The key is knowing someone completely and loving them for every beautiful corner and every fucked up line in the shape they form. If we can't do this, if the emotion is too much to handle, love fails. I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to give one hundred percent, and I know now. One hundred percent is getting inside someone's head and not being afraid of what's in there.


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