Fear: Real or Imagined
I’ve written about my fears before, in fact it was almost year ago now that I wrote about how I absolutely detest social situations because of the anxiety they cause me. Writing that post really gave me a lot of power, and made me really take stock in what exactly I was afraid of. And what would happen if I was forced to confront those fears, which in most cases was nothing. I think in the past year I’ve taken a lot of risks that I otherwise wouldn’t have done. I went to that meetup, and while I wouldn’t do it again it’s not because I’m afraid to go again it’s just that it wasn’t for me, and I’m okay with that.
Now that we’re all done with playgroup, and all the ‘mommyandme’ type activities I’m actually sort of relieved that I don’t have to keep pretending that I want to have a billion playdates every week. I mean, I like playdates but I mostly like them because the ones I go on are for me not so much the kids! I always feel awkward when parents approach me with requests for playdates because, damn I got sh*t to do! I know that socialization is important for kids so I’ve practiced my speech and tomorrow I’m going to ask a Mom at the daycamp if Cake and her daughter could…you know…like…hang out and stuff? I’m going to try not to sound so dorky when I ask but I’ll still probably come across as a complete idiot however, I’m not too worried about that anymore. Why? Because, I’ve totally been working hard this past year at overcoming my social anxiety and not caring whether or not people like me. It’s kind of freeing really. I’m still a nice and polite person, but if I’m not your cup of tea then you know what? I’m totally okay with that!
I wish I could say that all of my social anxiety is gone, truth is that it isn’t though. On the weekend we attended a birthday party for my best little twin dudes and it was a large gathering of people. I did feel as though I was awkward at times, but the difference is that I didn’t spend the next six hours worrying over whether or not people were or weren’t thinking I was awkward. That part is nice. I like growing up sometimes, it’s sort of awesome.
There are, though still my other
completely rational fears that I deal with or don’t whatever on a regular basis. I have to admit that since being married when there’s something I don’t feel comfortable doing it’s really kind of easy to make S. Geek do it. I am racking my brain for examples but all I can think of are the fears that I’ve confronted so I’m all over sharing my pride about those things. Firstly, as you may remember I went to Florida last month. I had to fly there. On a plane. Alone. The scenarios playing in my head were varied; some rather horrific and some just plain pathetic. This is the problem with having an active mind, as I do. I’m rather creative when it comes to story telling and oh I had just terrible anxiety worrying about the airplane. It didn’t help that the trip was really last minute so I was so busy preparing my kids for my absence and making sure I had summer clothes that fit and were all packed. It left me no time to really prepare myself for the task before me. Get from Ottawa to Jacksonville. Alone. Do you see the trend? Yes, I have flown before but I’ve always had someone else telling me where to go, and what to do. I’ve never had to be responsible for myself in that way before. I was a nervous wreck the entire time. I remember at one point when I was wandering around the Jacksonville airport unsure of where to pick up my bags that I was twirling my hair around my finger. Way to look awesome!!! When I realized I was doing it, I stopped of course but not before I noticed a security guard or some other airport staff member giving me concerned looks. I smiled at him, and he nodded at me as if to say ‘keep your distance, crazy.’
While the airplane was in flight I was pretty okay but I didn’t enjoy the take off and landing too much. I coped by clasping my hands together tightly and imaging that S. Geek was holding my hand. Again, I am so awesome! But I wanted to put this out there because anytime I’ve talked about my anxiety in the past people have told me that they are sufferers too and I just want to say, hey, this doesn’t have to cripple me anymore and maybe it can be better for you too!
just hold your own hand on the airplane!!!
Now, I’m really feeling on a roll here so I’m going to recount one more of my fear conquests. Some may say that I’m a tad of a control freak.
I hate that term, I just prefer to say I like things to be done a certain way. But I do admit to liking to feel a certain amount of control in a lot of situations. So when faced with certain activities where I feel uncontrolled I’m not usually so comfortable. S. Geek begged me to go zip lining with him last winter. He was relentless, I finally agreed but since I’d taken so long to give in it was all booked up. I seriously celebrated my stroke of luck there!! What, you say? But, Jenn didn’t you go white water rafting at Wilderness Tours last week? Yes, I did! The thought ‘what have I done?’ crossed my mind more than once. I booked it on a whim, I saw an ad for it and I emailed S. Geek to see if he was game and he said sure probably thinking in his head that there was no way I would go through with it anyway. But I booked it, and I went. Hearing their safety lessons at the beginning made me a little worried, then once we met out guide he had us row out a little bit and then gave us more instructions. This made me even more worried. I kept reminding myself that this guy had lots of experience and he has probably done this a thousand times so it’s all good. Plus he seemed rather at ease so that helped. At the end of the day, both S. Geek and I said that we’d go again. I had a lot of fun, interspersed with fear of course but I actually enjoyed the rowing bits and am toying with the idea of actually taking up rowing since my joints in my knees feel the need to be faulty on a regular basis. So there, not only did I do something that I’m sure a year ago I wouldn’t have chosen but I learned about something new that I enjoy!
I’m not sure that I’m quite ready to go zip lining yet, but I think that this was a great first step for me. As I write this up, I’m forced to wonder if my healthy body has anything to do with these changes. I think it’s impossible not to because for one, I never would have worn a bathing suit outside of my backyard before this so there you go. Healthy body and mind? Not one hundred percent, but getting there.