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Monday, November 14, 2011

Goodbye To Fear !

Three days from the surgery, and I woke up this morning with the strangest sensation.

For the first time, perhaps ever, I wasn’t afraid. It didn’t feel like a temporary moment of euphoria, it felt like all the fear in my body, mind and soul fell into a pocket universe, and then fell into a volcano. This odd moment of clarity shouldn’t go without comment.

I should probably point out that in the last ten years, my life has improved significantly. I am with the life partner that I am supposed to be with; I have a beautiful son who changed me forever. I have the support and friendship of so many people that like me more than I could ever like myself. I still try to figure out how I warrant so much positive energy from these angels and warriors in my life, and I should probably stop trying to figure it out and just appreciate it, and more importantly, reciprocate it.

I should also point out that some of the following material is of a very serious nature and almost all of it is information I’ve never disclosed. So I’ll try to lighten things up for tomorrows entry.

But before I met my wife, changing my universe forever, fear and I were very close.

I was born afraid. I was afraid to fail, I was afraid to succeed. I was afraid to be myself and I was afraid to conform. I was afraid of demons, professional bowlers, and taking a shower in gym class. I was afraid that Jesus hated me and that Godzilla really might just be a guy in a rubber suit. I was afraid my stuffed animals might explode in the washing machine and I was afraid that Playboy would make me go blind.

My single greatest source of fear, however, has always been myself. How I react to things, how I make other people feel, how I was unable to get my shit together enough to be a productive member of society, how I let people down, how I was so obsessive compulsive, how I wanted it all but didn’t want to work for it. Fearing myself made me a Grade A loser.

I like to think that I’ve always been, more or less, a person of good intentions, but the way I reacted to fear led me down dark paths and convinced me to do bad things; but that kind of fear comes from one place: not being honest with yourself about who you really are.

Being true to yourself is not always easy and the more you lie to yourself the further you get away from your true center, and the harder it is to get back home. When you lie to yourself it becomes necessary to lie to others. Sometimes those lies are merely tall tales made up to impress someone that you don’t believe really could respect you as you are. Some of those lies are made to cover your tracks for something you’ve done that will hurt others. Further down the line, you lie just so you don’t get caught at something you’d probably keep doing if you could get away with it. That’s when you’ve lost your way. I’m sure most of us have been there. Of course, all of those lies come in with built in excuses. Heaven knows I had excuses lined up for everything rotten I’ve ever done.

So, how did I get to that place, a place that sent me so far down into the pits of despair that I tried to take my life twenty years ago? Fear of being myself, or more specifically, fear of allowing others to see me as I am.

How many people do you know that are in “committed” relationships that are actively pursuing extracurricular dalliances, when they can get away with it? My guess is that you know quite a few. I worked at a bar for thirteen years and saw both men and women (though mostly men) try to pick up someone for a cheap thrill, a distraction from the norm, a little adventure to keep life interesting.

I used to be that guy. I’m not proud of that. Why did I act that way? Because I was lying to myself about who I really was, by putting myself in life that I always knew wasn’t the right choice for me, but provided security, stability,and held the fear of being alone at bay. Well, since I was lying to myself, I had to lie to others, people that didn’t deserve to be lied to. Good people who believed in me because I allowed them to see only the good side of me, which actually existed, but was tainted by this scret darkness. So in the end, I was destroying myself and taking decent people with me and the hell of it was that I knew it. I tried so many things to “cure” myself. I drank excessively, I gambled hoping luck could buy happiness, I took out bad loans to pay the bills. I was such a basket case.

One of my good qualities is also one of my most troublesome ones. I know when I’m taking the wrong path. I was hurting people and I knew it, and I honestly believed there was only way I could stop hurting other people. It was an easy choice. I hated myself. It was time to go. So I took a couple bottles of sleeping pills and tried to die. It wasn’t a cry for help. In fact, the concept of suicide filled me peace.

The man who I was living with at the time, and the man I named my son after, got me to a hospital in time and saved my life. When I came to in the hospital my first words to him were “Boy, I really can’t do anything right.”

I tried my best after recovering to help heal the wounds I caused, but it was still, I knew deep down inside, all a lie. I tried my best to become a good man who did good things, but the truth wasn’t going to change. So I started to unravel again.

Then ten years ago, I met the girl of my dreams, and the truth was that I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with her. Suddenly, there was no further need to lie to myself or anyone else. It wasn’t always smooth at first, and there are occasional twists in the road, but it’s the right road and we are so blessed to have such beautiful travelers with us along the way. A good portion of those companions on this journey are reading this blog right now, and I will do everything in my power to make you proud to know me.

So on Thursday, when the robot goes in and gets my cancer riddled prostate, I won’t be afraid because I now know I’m a better version of me, maybe on my way to being the BEST version of me.

I am all but certain I owe an enormous amount of this new sense of peace to my Jedi Master, Liz Carr, who helped me realize to embrace the perfection of my true self’s imperfection. I still need work, I get frustrated and distracted so easily. I am sometimes petty and selfish. Maybe now, that the fear is gone, even those less noble qualities will diminish.
For the record, I truly believe that the "good" Shawn was always the truest Shawn.

Thanks for letting me vent.

I love you guys.


  1. I'm so happy you are here. I'm so sorry you have had such a rough time, but I'm delighted, deeply, to know you. You're a brave person, and you're a genius for knowing the good stuff and embracing it. Much love to you, my friend. <3

  2. Shawn, it means so much that you trust us all enough to be able to vent; we love you, and know that you're one of the best guys around. I'm also glad that you sucked at that one particular thing about 20 years ago... <3

  3. Shawn, I am truly happy to have gotten to know you, and am honored to call you a friend. Thank you for the openness and honesty of this entry. You know that there are a lot of people out here who love you, and are with you through this! Godspeed on your recovery. Thanks for being a true friend to all of us.

  4. All of these things that have happened to you in life, they had to happen to make you the man you are today. "It's all good," as they say. Even the bad!

    You're a pretty neat guy. We're all very lucky to have you. (((hugs))) xoxo

  5. Shawn, I am so bless to know you and that my twin {David} has been a blessing to you. Sometimes you have to get to your lowest point in your life to realize what you have done and then you take the steps to make it better. I can see that you are doing that. When things get bad just go to God. He is always there for you, and he LOVES YOU soooo much know matter what you have done in your life. I love you Shawn and I am so proud of you for waking up and making a change for the better for you and your son. I will pray for you and your family. Love ya, Lisa {Hanson} Knight.

  6. I hate to say it but I can't help myself I told you there isn't a reason to be afraid and I knew all about what you just confessed
    You know how to set a table now. I wish I could be with you I did produce you nobody can take that away from me we are connected and I am sure God would not take that part of me away You loose a child it is part of yourself I do not plan on loosing you You are a warrior you beat the odds before and you won the war and earned the shield and are a true swordsmen I am proud of you Shawn More than pride you are loved You amaze me with David and Pam You know where I am even if I am not with you my soul is haunting and protecting
    all good things will come onto you.
    Because I said so LOL
    Your Mother

  7. Shawn, please write all the serious stuff you need to. That was beautiful, because it is true. It's part of the truth inside all of us, that's how true it is. Being on the path, being our best selves - of course you have nothing to fear.

    That logic won't always work. =)

    But it should. Dang.

    Thank you, Shawn.

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  9. Is that OUR Jen Hello :Lady.
    I am trying to get a image up but it refuses to load nothing new
    I have that problem on my message board once in awhile
    anyway could you have Pam call when you are in recovery and I also need to know what time you are having the surgery and if you know what room number you will have. I Wish I could be there but I was the day you were born you were screaming before you got all the way out the doctor was actually laughing His father delivered your father and they called him bear he hollers hey Bear look at this kid Your father almost past out he couldn't look Thought I would share that.

  10. Mom,

    That would be a different Jen.

    I won't know when the actual surgery is until the night before. I certainly have no idea what room I will be in, but Pamela will call you.

    I love you.

  11. No problem you will love that hospital and you know I love you.
    any friend of yours can't be bad lol

  12. How are you holding up now? I have been gone today shopping and Jackie has heart surgery tomorrow at McLaren.

    I hope you still are not afraid I am feeling good about it too. I wish I could be with you but maybe if Betty goes I can hitch a ride I told her I wish I could go she said she was not going but you know Betty things change her mind easy.

    I love you so much