Fear, what is fear?
I started writing this post a few months ago, I’ve been busy with managing graves disease, using some of the techniques below and life got in the way. Its interesting for me to be able to come back and read this. While this post is still relevant for me; it is interesting to reflect on what i wrote and take a second look….. I can honestly say the fear is subsiding, its still there but it slowly moving away. Here we go, i hope you enjoy reading!
This gnarly beast, or the monsters can hold so many people back from joy, love, leaving the house, getting out of bed, moving forward in life and just general living. For me sometimes it feels like walking in deep sticky mud.
To simplify fear, is an emotion, a response to real danger fear or a perceived dangerous situation; this can be healthy in some situations. Letting you flee, run or hide from an attack, however your body/ mind is unable to differentiate between what is real and what is in your mind. It seems really easy when you break it down this way; there are also many variables, which heighten fear. When the fear takes over and stops you moving forward it is a problem.
For me fear is part of my anxiety, which I suffer from, sometimes it can be crippling and other times it sits quietly in the background, for many months. I reflect on my behaviour in the hope I can learn, grow and move forward.
I get anxious when I’m scared, vulnerable, overwhelmed, when I don’t sleep or when I’m drained. I get scared in relationships, fearful if I show my vulnerability I risk rejection i fear rejection if i tell them i suffer anxiety. However not being authentic and being vulnerable is a barrier to intimacy and growth. I pushed past this, i didn’t collapse, grown another head and the world didn’t end. I pushed through and I feel better for it.
I was diagnosed with Graves disease in December 2017, this condition attacks the thyroid gland, making it over active. One of the many symptoms is anxiety, insomnia, feeling restless, on edge, heart palpitations, sweating, which are all present when you feel scared or anxious. Two things to battle now! Life is a test for sure.
I use different strategies, which may sound somewhat woo woo. I tell myself it’s ok to feel scared, its normal given the situation, I try and be kinder to myself, I breathe deeply. I ask my fear questions, its a technique I have expanded upon from a therapist I used to see and oracle cards I use. I talk to the fear like I you would a friend, ask why I feel scared of anxious, if I’m mind reading I ask if I have any evidence to support my fear, do I know that I will have a panic attack if I go out? If I do I will be ok. I use deep breathing and mindfulness. Sometimes these strategies don’t work, especially if I’m sleep deprived, but rather than letting the fear become a loop of negative thoughts, I acknowledge that I’m exhausted and I’m simply not feeling good.
Ive also being know to visualise myself as a giant telling the fear to buggar off and leave me alone. More importantly I’ve started to recognise that these are thoughts and feelings, which can be changed and modified with practice and patience- these feelings and thoughts are part of me, but don’t define me fully. Im much, much more than this!
I don’t want to be frozen, I don’t want to be mute, I want to move forward and be on the other side.
I have been so brave in the past, I have travelled alone, studied interesting subjects while being mother to a young child, bought a property, told people I love them, had some difficult relationships, decided to be single, stand up for myself against discrimination, taken an ex employer to court, illness, but lots of joy and love too.
However sometimes I can’t leave the house due to feeling overwhelmed by fear. I can’t move past the fear I will lose everything. In my fist blog post I wrote about Bali, and it was a spiritual quest, I found balance there, I focused on myself, self love and acceptance. However now i am learning to be kinder to myself and accept myself all of myself, the brave, the scared, the pretty and the ugly.
While somedays I wobble, I think about all I have done and all that I can still do. I’m finding new a different ways, writing something I have loved since I was a teenager this is why I decided to write this post to hopefully help others realise they are not alone and I find writing is such a healing, creative and cathartic process. Opening yourself up and being honest.
I’m interested in Buddhist beliefs and philosophy, the idea of suffering and attachment I believe relates to my situation. In its most simplistic sense, if can release my fear and the clinging attachment will my suffering will end? Will be be a step closer to releasing the fear? Simple answer i don’t know but ill dam well try.
I hope this post helps others like me or lets you know your not alone, but most importantly don’t suffer in silence. Find your tribe, you soul family who can help you on your journey.