Day 121 Question 121:
What are you scared of?
I try to avoid fear as much as I can but it is inevitable to have things you are scared of in life. If you feared something as a child you do not suddenly flip a switch and make it go away. Since childhood (as early as I can remember) I experienced anxiety. I don’t know where it came from and I don’t know why it started at such a young age. It took me a looooonnnggg time to really get in control of it.
I have fears and I have things I am scared of. Some things are small and superficial and some things I still need to face and continue to try conquering. I have a silly fear of raccoons and I cannot tell you where this fear came from. In my mind I just picture one crossing my path and leaping up into my face and just clawing and biting and eventually eating my face off. You are welcome for the vivid description. In the neighborhood where I nanny there is a raccoon that lives in a tree and from time to time it will wander up and down the tree and meander across the road (during the day…which I found interesting since raccoons are nocturnal). So, of course this beast has made an appearance twice while I was out taking the girls for a stroll. Someone told me to be careful of raccoons that you see during the day because that can be an indication of them being rabid. I have no idea of whether or not this is really true but you can imagine how quickly my ass was hauling down the road to get back to the house when I spotted the four legged monster. The chances of being attacked by a raccoon are probably 1 in 5,967,432…but the idea of them still sends shivers up my spine.
I experience much bigger fears though…the biggest fear is having another “nervous breakdown”. In 1997ish, I was diagnosed with panic disorder because I went through a very serious episode in which I was experiencing severe anxiety that I could not get ahold of. I, literally, thought I was going crazy. I was put on medication and after about 2 weeks I started feeling “normal” again and life went on. I have had 3 episodes like this in my life. I will have minor anxiety attacks here and there (usually right around my period when my hormones are raging) but I have not had one of these major attacks in over 5 years. I have changed my lifestyle, given up all drinking, meditate twice daily, and write as a form of therapy every single day. I stay in contact with a lot of people (friends, family, coworkers) and I have even sought therapy when I felt like my life was getting to the point of overwhelming. My life is in an AMAZING place and I am experiencing a happiness that I don’t know if I have ever experienced before. With all of this being said though, there is still this tiny lingering piece of me that fears that at any moment my mind and body will just collapse and I will go back into that panic state….that state that is so so very scary. To this day I still have trouble driving long distances for fear of having an anxiety attack in heavy traffic and not being able to get out or get to somewhere “safe”. I even have nervous bladder due to it…no I do not pee my pants or anything-hahahaha….but my bladder will go into overdrive sometimes when I am feeling this nervousness. My mother was the person that has always helped me out of this hole of despair and fear. She has experienced this herself and even at a young age, she checked herself into a mental hospital to get help for her anxiety. At that time, medication was not readily available and the amount of mental health issues people had were not as well known (I am sure they existed but no one knew what it was or knew how to deal with it). Anxiety runs in our family. My mother slept so very little to comfort me and was there for me every minute of every day until I was better. My mother is now 72 years old and her health is good but in the back of my mind I know she is not going to live forever and I fear not having her around if this mental breakdown were to happen again. Would I be able to get through it? Who would I go to? Would I do anything drastic? I know it sounds like something huge but let me assure you that these thoughts no longer control my life. They are there and they pass through from time to time but I believe I am being more proactive than reactive nowadays. I have been able to shift my way of thinking and all over living and I force myself to believe and to know that I have way more strength than I sometimes believe I do. I need to continually remind myself of all of the obstacles I have made my way through and all of the challenges I have taken on and came out successful.
Fears can be BIG and fears can be small. Fears are something that allow us to be in the moment. It is our own internal powers that allow us to let the fears control us or we can control the fears. I have things I don’t like (spiders, snakes, clowns, etc) but I would not consider them “fears” as much as things I hope I don’t have to encounter. The idea of being abducted and tortured is something that makes my skin crawl but the chances of it happening are slim (because let’s face it I am a ninja and no one would really want to f**k with me…hahaha) so therefore it would not really be a fear of mine. Fears are something that we allow to control us. I don’t say that negatively because fear is something that has become natural to all of us. We fear things for all kinds of reasons. We are able to understand ourselves a little bit better through our fears.
So I am dying to know…WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF????