Anxiety, fear of the tiger within


What is fear to you? Here is an extract from the book The Life of Pi describing fear that most of us can recognise in our most anxious moments.

“Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease…Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons of technology. But to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear turns fully to your body, which is already aware something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay attention to fear. They are on the constant prowl for more objects of fear”

The feelings and thoughts described are perfectly normal if you are facing a man eating tiger but if these thoughts are occurring outside of life threatening incidents it’s time to get some help!

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3 thoughts on “Anxiety, fear of the tiger within

  1. Pingback: Quote from The Life of Pi describing anxiety | Hypnotherapy 4 Anxiety

  2. Hi Alex. I’ve read the book and have the seen the film (twice). A useful reminder on the subject of fear. I’ve never come face to face with a Bengali tiger on a boat and don’t use this particular analogy but I have described my anxiety as a monster which lurks and then attacks me. But the monster consists only of thoughts..

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