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Dearest Reader,

Hello and welcome to this place where thoughts and ideas are molded and take shape. The place where I have the great privilege to put down my beliefs for the world to see. My name is Lauren. I am 15, an artist, a musician, and different in every way. Crooked pictures on the walls drive me nuts, if no music is playing I make my own, and I wear much more black then the average person.

I grew up with many strange fears and phobias that people didn't understand. I used to be so afraid to ride in elevators because I thought they would break down and I would be stuck in that tiny space with no way out. I suppose this went hand in hand with my fear of closed spaces but it drove my parents crazy. But was this ever a valid fear? Maybe yes maybe no. But probably not in the long run. Still, this fear caused me pain. I would be so nervous mentally that it would hurt physically. I'm also mortally afraid of sharks, spiders, and heights. One of my favorite songs, Destroyer by The Kinks very nicely describes this obsessive fear.

"Paranoia, the destroyer
Self-destroyer, wreck your health
Destroy friends, destroy yourself"

Paranoia and anxiety go hand in hand. If you're paranoid about something you become anxious. I have an anxiety disorder that makes me nervous about a lot of things. When I am nervous it hurts me in more ways then one. In other words, these invisible fears cause a lot of pain. I truly believe that when Thomas Jefferson said, "How much pain has cost us the evils that have never happened" that he was absolutely right. I think everyone can relate to this quote in some way. Little kids who are afraid of the monster under the bed or the darkness of the open closet, those who fear death, and those who fear anything else know how much it can hurt to be in constant fear of something that isn't an imminent threat. Even if a fear is unfounded it can still drive you insane and make itself seem real. Obviously the sharks on Discovery Channel's Shark Week can't do anything to hurt me but it doesn't make it any easier for me to watch. So maybe it is human nature to be afraid. Or maybe it is simply our society, legends, and personal beliefs that make this fear seem so much less invisible. It’s a lot to think about.

If you can not already tell, I do a great deal of thinking. I believe that quite often I simply think too much and this is what causes me to worry. I’m simply an over thinker. Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Have you ever been so nervous about an audition, or a test, or a job interview that you end up feeling sick or you start shaking? This paranoia and worry does nothing but hurt us in these situations. It is because we over think and become anxious that we do poorly on certain things. Anxiety controls our judgment. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes for worse.

So as you explore the rest of my wikispace, please think about what I have said and try and relate it to your own life. Have your fears ever caused you pain? Feel free to let me know by leaving a comment. I love to hear from others and would love to know your thoughts on this topic.