Tuesday, December 6, 2016

On Fear

In the last month or so, I've heard a quote like this at least 3 times. At least.

Or something similar to this. Something like,

"Never let fear make your decisions."  And it's like, BOOM. What?  I shouldn't let my fear control me? It's all I know. It's all I am. I'm doing it wrong??

If we've been friends for a while, then you know that I have an absolute crippling fear of performance anxiety. You can call it stage fright I guess-- 

But when people are all, 
"Yeah I get super nervous too when I speak in front of people." Then I'm like, yeah. It's that, but it's so much more. I'm having a total freak out panic attack. Panic attacks are gosh awful. They suck. So bad. 


I let my fear take over me. I stopped doing anything that would get me wigged out. Anything music related that was in front of people? Over. Done. Public speaking-- even making a comment in a room with more than 4 people would completely freak me out. It was a serious problem. It was controlling my life.

I don't even know what exactly started me wanting to change really--

but I started with a fear journal. Seriously. (Journal nerds unite.)

I started making a list of things that freaked me out, and I started planning on doing them. I know this sounds sick and twisted, but really it's kind of sick and twisted.

-Donating blood was never a problem for me until the last few years. I broke into a cold sweat contemplating doing it again . .

So I signed up. And I went and did it. (And I did freak out internally). And then I wrote about it in my fear journal and was like BAM I did that.  And then I signed up to donate again when the time came around.

Tons of musical numbers, speaking in front of large crowds. . . oh my heck, once recently I even sang in front of a bunch of people and I don't sing solos because I don't have a solo voice.

And then I get to write about it, and I pat myself on the back.

I did a violin solo. As an adult. In front of a huge crowd. And I felt sooo ridiculous at a recital next to 10 year olds doing my recital thing. But it was on my fear journal list, and so I did it anyway.

I'm happy to say that it is actually getting easier. But nearly every time, when I'm up doing that thing that is freaking me out, I wonder why I've done this to myself and what my gosh dang problem is.

But then I'm so happy afterward.

I've been meaning to sit down and put my thoughts into words for like, ever--

but then our house was robbed on Thanksgiving night while we were out of town. And that's a new, different kind of fear, you know what I'm saying?

I've said this before, and I'm not even kidding: my house is my buddy. It honestly feels like a close friend. I've poured my literal blood, sweat, and tears into making this house ours. And it feels like someone came in and violated it. They were everywhere-- in every room, and with the amount of things they took, they were in here for a long time.

Evidently, they spent the bulk of their time in my bedroom, and they were thorough. Under my bed, through my socks, my underwear, even my dirty clothes for crying out loud--

and a couple people were asking if we were going to move. Because we feel violated, you know?

I'm not moving. This is my house. You bastages that broke in don't belong here.

I don't feel safe, and I think that's natural. But how I do feel truly blessed, is that I was already working on not letting fear take over me, before this happened. So, I'm just gonna keep on keeping on. I guess this is my next fear journal entry, right?

Thanks for listening. Carry on.


Rach said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine how that would begin to feel. I'm so sorry.
I like that you called him/her/them/it bastages. : )

Jan said...

Ughhhhh..... that stinks. But it's ALL stuff! Your family is safe.
Not a sales pitch but I installed simply safe myself last year. LOVE it. No more freaking out at night or when I'm in the shower. Plus set up two D-link cameras that I can see on my smart phone. I'm not tech savvy but feel so much better w them.
Hope they catch them. Because I'm sure your house is not the first or last on their list :(

Ann Marie Heasley said...

WHAT?!?! Oh my gosh, Mandi. I'm so sorry. Praying for strength for you all and hoping they catch those idiots. The older I get the more anxious I feel (and over silly things!) and do it without realizing. Thanks for putting it into perspective and for putting these words out there. ❤️

Evelyn said...

Mandi, I love this post. I'm so proud of you for facing your fears...what an incredible idea with the journal!

Also, I'm so sorry to hear about the robbery. Holy cow! I can't imagine that feeling. Good for you for keeping on, for not moving away, and for being perfectly honest with yourself about it. You're totally allowed to be afraid, but I love that you're not letting it stop you from living your life!

Rosemary said...

You poor thing. I know how it feels to be robbed. I'm sending you big hugs.

Gigi said...

Our house was robbed when I was a kid - actually the robbers were running out the back as we walked in the front door - so I KNOW exactly how you feel; and I'm so sorry it happened to you and I hope, in time, you will feel safe again.

But as to facing your fears? That's not a little thing - that is a brave thing.

Janelle said...

I've said it before- I'll say it again. I want to be like you when I grow up. way to face those fears.

james and bess said...

Holy. Crap. I am so sorry for your lack of home-peace right now and so proud of you at the same time. You are awesome. You will kick these fears in the nads and keep right on rockin' it. Way to go. :)!!!!!


Denise said...

One time God kept reminding me of the verses where Joshua was told not to fear or tremble. He was told more than once and for several weeks I was reminded. I decided something truly awful was going to happen like cancer and I was being prepared. While company was staying with us a pipe broke and water soaked carpet in two bedrooms. I actually laughed and said is this all ? I can handle this! Because I was prepared beforehand our company thought we were the most spiritual people and turned their life over to God. Ha. If they had only known. God prepared your heart. I know a robbery is much worse than a leak but you didn't let fear take over. Love the quote that everyone is afraid but it is met and handled.

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Susan said...

Mandi- I have loved your account for a long time. We always need a good laugh and you are always so real, which I truly appreciate in a world of carefully crafted on-line personas. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! That fear journal is amazing! I am in school getting my Master's of professional counseling and I am going to store that idea away and use it in therapy! I better actually practice on myself first!
I know you hate winter and are probably hibernating a bit, so I hope the sun comes out soon and you enjoy your summer!

Pattie said...

I love your posts. I loved the song you posted too, had never heard it before but it's gonna be a fave. I love your floors your pond and your gardens. You are amazing. Come over and tell me what to do with my house would ya? :D Your flowers are gonna be so awesome this year! I once saw this gal's gardens who just planted lillies everywhere. It was on a garden tour. It was breathtaking. Yours are gonna be like that someday with all your hard work. You'll soon be an expert. I enjoy your blog so much. It is very inspiring. Now I"m gonna go plant a bulb or two because of it. :D

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