fear 3.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

i'm airin' my shit out.
it feels good.:)
like, well, when you air your shit out.
like when the first signs of spring appear,
blades of grass begin to peak through snow. 
warmer days descend upon you,
taking with it on a cool breeze, the heavy weight of winter.
when you can finally fling open your doors and windows, 
to air out the staleness of the past days and breathe in FRESH air,
making room in your lungs, but also your heart, your head, your soul,
for more good things to come.
we're not there yet, technically,
but not far away.
if you're reading along, you're either totally annoyed:)
or totally intrigued by this 'thing' you may not have known about me. . .
my demons.:)
and now, how much fear and anxiety have ruled my life, up until now.
and honestly, for no apparent reason.
as i stated, my childhood was. . .awesome.
i really don't have any ONE or any THING to blame.
my parents, like my husbands' parents, like WE parent,
did their absolute best. 
and always, despite our best efforts, our kids, become adults, with their own issues.
so i blame no one.  i was who i was, am who i am.
and although a lot of us never changes on the inside, no matter how many years and experiences deepen the fine lines on the out,
we ALWAYS have the ability to change what we can, and make new choices,
at any point in life.
and again, if we're not figuring it out, life finds a way. . .to wake you up to the change you need.
for a brief visit, i went down the path of, "what could i have done differently all these years?  where did this come from?  how did this get so big?"
but i came to realize, it doesn't matter.  one.  bit.
doesn't matter if many women and men in my family have dealt with this.
if it's a 'genetic predisposition' or 'chemical imbalance' to worry this much each day.
doesn't matter.
all i came to know, was that it didn't and doesn't suit me.
and certainly wasn't going to be what defined me.
the whole fear of flying thing, although a minor inconvenience at the time, 
as i wasn't working outside of the home, nor traveling often, was just something i put up with.
but i was so annoyed and frustrated and angry with how travel would make me feel.
and i hated that.  
although i'm a home body, the thought of not being able to get up and go if i had the chance,
made me so upset with myself.  the independent self i was born to be,
that never had a problem hopping on a bike or jumping in the car, and just going.
that side of me slowly seemed to be dying.
i used to fly with no issues.
so again, i was SO frustrated at what i'd become,
and was determined to bring that old self back, one flight at a time.
not to mention, i am married to a man, who i knew would want to travel and experience life wholeheartedly. . .with our kids, just the two of us, in retirement. . .
i thought, i'll be damned if i bring him down.  i WILL travel with him, myself, my kids.
and i will love it.:)
and i did just that.
i found this fantastic online fear of flying course that easily helped to release me from my fears and anxiety of flying,
educate me on EVERYTHING i could possibly know about flying.
not ensuring me that i would never die in a plane crash,
but reassuring that chances were good that i wouldn't.:)
helping me understand where and why's and how's of my fear of flying and where they were stemming from. . .a serious lack of knowledge.
it was a soothing balm to calm every assumption i've ever made about flying,
all the terrifying scenarios my mind would create based on what i THOUGHT i knew,
or oddly enough, what my irrational thoughts were telling me.
and i believed them every time.
and this program helped to squash that.
long story short,
and within a short period of time, i was ready.  flight by flight, slowly conquering something that had become so big.
finally bringing me back to a place of peace and trust in flying.
gracie and i flew to chicago last summer, (yes, i know, big whoop,)
but it was the first time, in YEARS, and based on all my practice, that i was calm.
not one itch of anxiety.  it was awesome.  and from those great moments of confidence in life where we achieve a goal, what seems to be, our highest endeavor in our heads,
i thought proudly, i could TOTALLY be a flight attendant!
i digress.
HOWEVER, despite the work i did to clear my head and body of something i greatly feared and rarely partook in,
i thought i would be cured of everything else.  every other fear, automatically.
yes, big triumph for conquering one my biggest fears,
but there were many more to follow.
with brian's cancer brought a whole SLEW of new things to fear, that i had never thought about before.
i remember a dear friend saying, "funny how you've spent so much of your life worrying about health, illness, other peoples' problems, and then your husband gets sick with the worst thing ever."
so the whole idea, that if i worried about it all, i'd be safe, was proving to me,
i had it all wrong.
that i really WASN'T in control.
and this new thing, this really HUGE thing, so much bigger than stepping on a plane and putting your life in someone else's hands, 30,000 feet up, was literally death defying.
a fear of flying was a walk in the park for the anxiety and fear of the unknown, that cancer brings.
propelling me in to a WHOLE new arena to play in.
although i'd learned (i thought,) to cope with my fear of flying,
i hadn't really learned how to cope.  in general, with life.
to face whatever came our way.
i had envisioned getting to a place where no matter WHAT happened in life,
i would handle it with grace and ease.  letting all roll off my back with strength.
but you're never really prepared for cancer.  you just go.
and it's a dark abyss FILLED to the greatest depths,
that despite plans, protocols and prayers, can take its own course.
not just on the individual who's ill, but the family that stand by.
and as i always say, in those moments that require great strength and resolve, you pull shit from somewhere.  or it just shows up.  and you move.
but it certainly left its talons sunk deep in to my being, despite brian's great outcome.
leaving the aftermath for me, even more devastating than the diagnosis itself.
me feeling even MORE vulnerable to life and all that we we AREN'T in control of.
i thought, "well?  this is me.  (again.)  i'll just deal.  live in fear.  prevent and control what i can."
and that kept the raging beast below at bay, for a few months,
as we gained more momentum out of the dark and into better health for brian.
but in the least likely of places, i hit a wall.
a giant brick one that was impenetrable (or so i thought,)
truly waking me up THIS time, to the state i had put myself in,
the damage that had been done to my inner being,
simply by my own fearful thinking.
although it was treacherous and terrifying and seemingly endless,
i have dismantled that wall, one brick at a time.
and this is where my journey OUT of fear continues. . .


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