The main thing’s not to panic

A mate of mine used to say that all the time – “The main things not to panic”. I can’t remember what the context of the comment was, maybe around school exams, maybe when we were lost on a bushwalk to The Bluff, maybe just as a line that became a bit of a signature for him. We called him Fog, which was a corruption of his name, sort of Geoff spelt backwards, but he as no dill. He was a groomsman at my wedding, but never married himself, nor had any of his own children. In fact he decided that passing on genes which had lead him to wearing coke bottle glasses and given him a bad back was not something he wished to burden any children he may have had with. Sadly, he died of a stroke at age 39 back in 1997.

Still those words have just popped back inside my head tonight – The main things not to panic – so thankyou Fog.

Why do I panic? Well I guess it’s because I have run away from contact with people, from companionship, and yes, from love, for much of my life. I have come to understand that subconsciously I have not wanted to build deep relationships with people because the fear of loss is too frightening for me. So when I have found that I now do not wish to lose a relationship I panicked, both because I have previously run from commitment, and now wishing to take a forward step I have been overcome by the fear of loss. Not because I will lose it, or even that I expect to lose this one, simply because I have long established pattern of behaviour that has not let people in. And the reason for that is that I have built walls against emotion simply because of fear.

The main things not to panic. I’ll try and remember that.

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