When Fear Bleeds into Bliss: Anxious Ones in Love

New love is the possibility of promise. Conversation, connection and co-created dreams.

New love is the illusion of the right color paint which will prime and cover and freshen up a life. It can bring out charm and character hidden under drabness and shades left down too long.

My love is the breeze, the night sky, the aroma off the herbs on the path to the right as we take a night walk.IMAG00694 (2) 2

His skin like a new hair cut I am getting used to on me appears at times in my reflection.

The flicker flirt of conversation, the back and forth of handing cards from the same rack back and forth and falling into laughter. I’d buy them all to send to him if he wasn’t standing by my side.

His shoes mingled in mine in the morning on the same floor at the Crabtree Inn. His toothpaste and mine share the sink space. The soup, Peruvian, we spoon sipped from the same big bowl the night before.

Corn, popped so not to be hard before it became a puffy sculpture. Firm and filled with air, like him – later in the evening.

Not only does my heart fill but my eyes too. Happy tears spill as I swim a river in another country.

Naked happiness.

Seized I am.

Struck afraid.

I imagine the loss of him. I taste bitterness and melancholy bleeds into bliss.

Love becomes something I can lose. Someone I can lose.

Dread replaces love.

I live in another window and see the whole world through the stain of that glass. it’s not clear.IMAG00706 (2) 1

I worry that his heart has stopped when he doesn’t return a text or call soon enough, that he is slumped and alone in his kitchen unable to reach phone, me or medicine.

I fear he’ll go back to his ex-wife or to California where it’s warmer than I am.

Am I too emotional, soft and over ripe? Do I have too many friends, relatives or responsibilities for this quiet man? Will he turn me down like volume and then shut me off and leave silent? Will he choose clean and alone because I’m cluttered chaos? 

I taught myself to be strong but am tired of doing life alone. I crave touch, conversation and love.


How will I know where to rest and root if I grow to count on him and the weight of that burden tumbles him?

I want decades of tradition and familiar routines and varied walks on the same paths to see new birds with old eyes which pay closer attention.

What if I own my desire and it owns me? Is unrequited or disappointing?

Fear is not the wing I want to fly with and yet it pounds the air. Fear flaps in and through my breath.

Photo Credit: Margaret Bellafiore

Photo Credit: Margaret Bellafiore

Fear of loss is not a good enough reason to withhold love but it doesn’t stop me from worrying.

Yet, if I close my heart I will only lose him slowly in daily doses and by my own hand.

Starving myself at this banquet in an attempt to get used to going hungry.

Can I taste what’s right here instead?

I’d rather have memories to suck on. Sweetness devoured melts in long after the hard candy is gone.

Love is in me. Can be me.

But it’s tender, vulnerable and scary.

I am afraid.

I might love you more than I am loved in return. I might outlive love or a lover. I might make a mistake. Again!

He might turn out to be a chase and catch man who likes the fish who squirm more than the ones in his hand. 

He might and yet this is how I feel today. In love.

He might die too soon on me and himself. And so the fuck will I.

But here’s what I know. Death hasn’t happened yet – to life or love.


Can I let fears slip off my mind instead of into pouring it like salt into my morning coffee making what I sip all day bitter?

My heart is not a wound. Open, it is a sweet gift I present to him, myself and the world.

Love is a triumphant trek into brave and bold and new and it can’t be repressed or ignored.

No matter how it turns out can I be honest with myself at least? Fear will not keep me from enjoying his profile or the way he can concentrate and focus when reading a map, book or skyline.

Can I enjoy this preciousness without worry? I have no fucking idea how. Not yet. Not really. I want to learn.

So I take out pen and paper and write and observe and admit how frightened I am.

And sit.

And sit.

And sit with it.

I’m afraid of breaking or being broken.




Of being mistaken, wronged, humiliated or having to start from scratch. Yup.

I am tender. Anxious. Nervous. Glorious.

I bear witness to my fear in hopes of making my trips to crazy-town round-trip rather than destinations where I get stranded or take residence.

Pain and loss and death and separation. All certain. Mistakes. I’ve not made my last one.

Still, I ache to hold the have of you here in this moment and to learn to calm myself.

I ache to remember this. Decades after I went to Alaska I can still feel the tender green leaves and tiny wet forget-me-nots at the soles of my feet.

I tip toed on the tundra tickled by delicate blue flowers. They were lower than my ankles and spread acre after acre. They had to push through fresh new earth, dirt ripped open by a glacier. They were fierce and strong and fearless.

Can I trust myself to forge ahead? Can I root and spread love without defended self-protection not knowing how high the bloom will reach?

Forget-me-nots have a fragrance that fades all day long. They are almost simple in the pale blue. But at dusk, in quiet, dark and private, this tiny flower perfumes the sky and releases her essence.

If I live in love, no matter what this or that love does or doesn’t become, so can I.

You Matter Mantras

  • Trauma sucks. You don't.
  • Write to express not to impress.
  • It's not trauma informed if it's not informed by trauma survivors.
  • Breathing isn't optional.

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