The Fear is a phrase I’ve noticed myself using a lot in the last year or two- “this is giving me the fear,”; “I have the fear,” etc.
I first heard the phrase as the title of Lily Allen’s song “The Fear”. In it, she describes the “shallow girl” fantasy- to be thin, rich and successful. But that’s not what I mean when I say I have The Fear.
And I don’t mean I’m hungover either.
To me, The Fear is this shapeless, black, bubbling mass of anxiety. Something that doesn’t have rhyme or reason, but is a sense, that is almost instinctual. I can feel it building and wrapping itself around me, but I don’t know why. I just know that it is there. It’s not even an emotion I feel, it is like an actual physical presence.
The Fear is that feeling when you go out walking at night, and you pass a dark alley, or the hole in the graffiti wall, and you have this overwhelming sense that something is there. And you walk a little faster, but all the way back home you can’t shake the feeling. I know that is fight or flight, but I’m sure it is something more.
I don’t just get The Fear when I walk past an alley, or the hole in the graffiti wall- I get it when people say certain things, or I see something on tv, or even when the weather does a specific thing. My mind and body decides that it is not safe, that there is an evil presence, and the evil presence is The Fear.