Facing Fears

I read a blog post by Natasha over at Truly. Simply. Healthy. titled Facing Fears; A Personal Tale of Whale-Watching.

Part of my need to write a reply to this post is that I recognise part of it explicitly! Natasha mentions her ritual after unplugging her hair straighteners of having to repeat “unplugged” three times or else facing a day of worry about the safety of her home and dog.

I have a slightly different ritual, in that I spend a minute before I go out taking photos of heat sources so that if I do worry that I’m going to come home to a smouldering pile of ash I can just have a look at my phone to put my mind at ease.

My trigger for this was that I was once in a rush to go play football one night. I cooked my dinner, took it upstairs and shovelled it down my neck. I put my kit on and went out. Just as I got to the car I remembered that I hadn’t picked up a bottle of Lucozade so went back to the kitchen only to spot the ring on the hob that I’d cooked my dinner on glowing bright red. I’d forgotten, in my rush, to turn it off. What would have happened if I hadn’t forgotten that drink?

So I came up with a pragmatic approach to avoiding the issue. By taking a photo, it forced me to check everything and gave me that reassurance. It’s worth noting that, since I started doing this, I haven’t left anything on and my fears have been eased.

Everyone has fears. I don’t have a problem with spiders, but women terrify me! I know people who won’t do the washing up in the sink because they’re scared of touching the dirty water. I know people who hate public speaking. My grandmother is scared of cats but loves her Yorkshire Terrier. Some people are scared of rollercoasters.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with those fears. Some will take anxiety medication, some will seek professional help, some will take the bull by the horns, some will run away and some of us do small silly things that do the job.

My fears are based largely around adverse experience.  I left the hob on, I’m scared of the consequences of doing it again.  I’m rejected by more women than I care to recall.  I’ve never hurt myself on snow so pointing a snowboard down a slope is fine.  Other people may be completely the opposite in those exact same circumstances so don’t understand why others find it so hard.  We get our confidence or otherwise from our positive or negative experiences.

What all those ways of dealing with the fear do is dramatically mitigate it. They might not make it go away, but it becomes small and manageable to the extent we sometimes don’t even see it as a fear. What makes one way of dealing with an issue any better than another? Seeing a psychiatrist won’t mean I always remember to turn off the hob. They might help me manage the worry, which is great until the house burns down with Moo in it. If you take a tablet before facing the fear, are you actually facing the fear at all?

I’ve faced fears in my life – long haul flights, long periods away from home, black slopes. I’ve run away from things and regretted it. Fears will always present themselves when we have something to lose. How we deal with them is what’s important and we may not get results, but at least we’re trying.

There’s somethin’ ’bout the way
The street looks when it’s just rained
There’s a glow off the pavement
You walk me to the car
And you know I wanna ask you to dance right there
In the middle of the parking lot
Yeah
Oh yeah

We’re drivin’ down the road
I wonder if you know
I’m tryin’ so hard not to get caught up now
But you’re just so cool
Run your hands through your hair
Absent-mindedly makin’ me want you

And I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first
Fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress
Fearless

So, baby, drive slow
‘Til we run out of road in this one horse town
I wanna stay right here in this passenger’s seat
You put your eyes on me
In this moment now capture it, remember it

‘Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first
Fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress
Fearless

Well, you stood there with me in the doorway
My hands shake
I’m not usually this way
But you pull me in and I’m a little more brave
It’s the first kiss,
It’s flawless,
Really something,
It’s fearless.

Oh yeah

‘Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first
Fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress
Fearless

‘Cause I don’t know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first
Fearless
And I don’t know why but with you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress
Fearless

Fearless by Taylor Swift

Tagged:

Comments 1

  1. I love this post, and I’m so glad you were able to relate to experiences in my past as well. I agree that we run the risk of missing out on so many experiences based on our fears, no matter how rational or irrational they may be. One can miss out on really living if they constantly let these fears stand in their way. I’m glad you’ve found a way to help counter that!
    Natasha

Leave a Reply to trulysimplyhealthy Cancel Reply