Tag Archives: feeling

Scared shitless

I need to get an operation. I have cataract in one eye and they need to replace the lens. And little old, very rational me is scared shitless. So I thought I’d write something to distract myself. Well, with that beginning, not a great way to start, is it?

Okay, soldiering on.

The last few days I’ve been wondering, while kind of standing beside myself and looking at me, why I’m so uncontrollable scared for this operation. I am not scared of hospitals, I don’t mind having an injection, I don’t even mind having to have some skin cut out under local anesthetic, having to get stitches, none of that.

The rational explanation, or at least the logical one, is that I am dealing with some unresolved trauma. (Is trauma ever not unresolved?) – As a young boy I was in and out the hospital a lot with ear infections. At that time they had a simple solution: prick a hole in the eardrum and let the muck come out.

As a child with, at that time, undiagnosed Aperger’s Syndrome, I didn’t deal well with the whole forcing me down on an operating table, forcefully putting the mask with the anesthesia on me, doing something to my head, well, inside my head, and then having to wake up confused, looking for my parents. These are still vivid memories. (Maybe I’ll explore this some more in a future post, but right now it’s a bit too much for me to further go into all of that.)

Furthermore, the anesthesia they used back then, gave me terrible nightmares. Not that I made that particular connection back then, but later on wondering about it and doing some research, I managed to figure it one out by myself. To this day I remember the horrible dreams I was having.

That’s the logic, the rationale, for my current state of mental disarray.

But it doesn’t help me.

Because this fear, this gut-wrenching terror does not subside by knowing all this. And right now, I think that has to do with it not being about being realistic about it at all.

Realistically I know, I have to have this operation, I’ll be under completely (I made sure I’ll get a general anesthetic), the operation itself is so simple and short, it is being performed so often, it’s routine for the surgeon and everyone involved. I know all this. I know, that my wife is coming with me. I trust her completely and I love her dearly. I so appreciate her support in all of this. I want nothing more right now than for her to be with me for this. And I want to be strong for her.

And yet.

I have no control over this feeling (emotion?). I am just really terribly upset and scared. Nothing to do with knowledge. And me really wanting to be strong does not even put a dent in it.

Pfff…. At least I managed to write this down.

I just need to get through this week.


Beware the fury of a patient man.

― John Dryden

I needed a good talking to. Here goes:

The past and future cannot be felt, they are not here. Conjuring up feelings about stuff that happened —or might happen— is what I do in the present. That also puts me at the helm. Here and now is mine. Here and now I can control. The past and future I cannot.

Right now, I can apply rational and logical thought, if I manage to make room for it. As soon as something has passed, analysis can be applied, dwelling on it won’t help me in any way.

Analysis helps me come to a decision about my actions now. But it is not a predictor. What actually will happen is uncertain. That is life.

Finding the right words

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

―Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

I am always a bit at a loss for… words, I would say, when I read a sad or depressed blog post. In real life, I would maybe sit with the guy, listen to what he has to tell me, offer some new way of looking at things, if I think that is what he is looking for.

But how to express this towards a blog post? How I can I sit silently with a blog post? “Hey dude, I know you’re sad but look at this… LIKE!” – That doesn’t seem as the right reaction when somebody just poured his guts out and now is standing there looking at the gory results before him on the pavement.

And I am okay with writing for myself. But, knowing I probably am not finding the right words to write, in reaction to what I know I don’t see the full width of, to me that borders on knowingly insulting someone.

Yes, I am overthinking. Probably. But experience has taught me that I oftentimes come across as unempathetic or worse, while I genuinely try to be a super-nice person.

In other words, I stink at this game.

Not to worry though, I intend to make many more mistakes in the time to come. My wife and kids know me and my ways, colleagues I guess have learned to deal with me. Other than that, I have no friends to lose, so onward I go!