Shannon Dittemore

September9th

3 Comments

On Fear

Posted in: Articles

FearAuthors write what they know. And I know about fear.

It’s a theme that threads its way through the Angel Eyes trilogy. Brielle is terrified. She’s afraid her best friend’s death was her fault, she’s afraid of being alone, she’s afraid of the dark. But she’s not the only one dealing with fear, and as we meet one character after another, we find that all of them are afraid of something.

Fear is universal and in an attempt to show that, I’ve given it a physical appearance. A cold, black, tar-like substance. The fear Brielle sees smeared on the faces of her friends is the very same fear that shakes her hands and wraps itself around her legs holding her frozen, immobile.

There are all sorts of fears, aren’t there? Even healthy ones. But, here, I’m talking about the things that haunt us, the terrors that worm their way into our guts and refuse to let go. I’m talking about anxiety-inducing, life-altering, sleep-depriving fears.

For me, they came on quite suddenly. See, I’d never really been in love before. But when I started dating my now-husband, I grew terrified that something would happen to him. And when my children were born, that same irrational fear loomed larger and larger until I just knew I’d lose them as well. It’s so easy to write now—just a couple sentences and those emotions are summed up—but I tell you, I was a wreck, and it affected everything in my life.

And then one day, a friend shared with me about her own suffocating fears. I couldn’t identify. I really couldn’t. The fear had been with me for so long, I didn’t even know I was afraid. That sounds weird, I know, but we get used to the baggage we haul around and that’s where I found myself. So used to the fear that I couldn’t even name it. I left that day feeling very sorry for her. It was an entire week before I realized her words were putting a face to the thing I’d been dealing with.

It was fear. And I needed help.

The journey to find help is going to look differently for everyone, but one of the things I hope my stories stir in readers is the truth that you’re not alone. You are not alone in your fear and your anxiety. If darkness teaches us anything, it’s that it takes just a bit of light to shatter it. And, for me, light came in the form of another girl sharing her own struggle. If I can, in any way, break through the darkness with my own stories, I will be most satisfied.

You’re not alone. Never forget that.

In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. ~ Psalm 118:5-6

Click here for more on my latest book, Dark Halo, and the Angel Eyes trilogy.

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3 Comments

  • Comment by Meredith — September 9, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

    Proud of you for sharing. It is not always easy revealing our struggles (past or present) but If doing so helps others during their difficult time it is satisfying not to mention humbling.

  • Comment by Elizabeth M Thompson — September 9, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    Shannon, you couldn’t have written so powerfully with a theme of fear snaked through your books without having wrestled with it personally. I love the victory over fear you empower in your writing–in the Angel Eyes trilogy and here in this post.

  • Comment by Margaret — September 10, 2013 @ 7:21 am

    I totally get it. I used to be afraid of everything. Every decision I made was based on fear and the attitude I used to face every day was one of fear. I was trapped in spiritual warfare and I couldn’t face it with courage or strength because I didn’t trust Jesus.

    But Jesus set me free and now I can praise him every day and live in freedom because I’m not afraid anymore.

    And I write about it and I understand. My blog is here if you want to read more of my story. http://boldbrightbeautiful.com But I just thought I’d share because I GET IT. And if you trust Jesus, he is enough to bring you through even your darkest fears coming true.

    I read Angel Eyes and the fear you wrote about was very real, and for a while I pictured fear that way, too. Thanks for writing truth. 🙂

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