Can't think of fear without the loathing part thanks to Hunter S. Thompson. I think that's in part because you tend to feel some level of self-loathing for feeling fear, and you certainly do to other people whose fear renders them less than noble, like Yossarian in Catch-22. He's not heroic in the traditional sense, although it occurs to me that Ayn Rand might consider him to be an incredible hero for putting self-preservation first.
Fear, though, is about self-preservation. It's an adaptive emotion, most of the time. The problem is when fear is crippling, disabling, and leaves a person feeling like her heart will explode out of her chest. Fear and anxiety go together--isn't that we're really talking about when we say we are anxious? That we are scared, full of fear, and ready to bolt?
Our bodies are where our emotions show themselves and we can be hard pressed at times to put a name to the physical arousal..to the shakes, the sweat, the increased blood pressure, the stomach ache, the general physical distress...other than to be honest and generic--we are in the middle of our brain telling our body to get us the fuck out of here and now.
It sucks when the situation demands we stay, that we wait, that we endure. We end up running on fumes, and the longer the wait, the more likely we are to make ourselves sick.
My anxiety, when full blown, drops my blood sugar low and raises my blood pressure through the roof and that's through my regular anti-anxiety meds. And that's with positive thinking and breathing and stuff...
My biopsy (ultrasound guided core needle) is next Wednesday, a whole week away, and even though the chances are overwhelmingly in my favor (only 1 in 5 biopsies end up being cancer), I am in full flight mode...jittery, shaking, and oddly sleepy at the same time (the extra meds trying to do the trick for me).
Mentally, I have faith that everything will be okay. I do. Physically, it feels like my body is in full revolt and snickering at me, which I think is a bullshit move, honestly.