You see, I was afraid to leave the house. If I was not going to my house or to the store to buy groceries, I did not leave my four walls. It was only out of necessity that I left the walls I was in. I felt safe and secure in my home with the windows closed, blinds drawn, and doors locked. I felt safe within the confines of my home where I was hidden from the outside world. I did not want visitors and I encouraged no one. I had very few close friends that were not work related and I only socialized with them when it was required during the course of a business day.
People were a threat. The outside world was a threat. Pushing beyond the fears of my four walls was like asking me to swim across the Atlantic Ocean. This was not going to happen. Anxiety would build up within me every time I even gave the slightest thought to venturing outside. Even if I went to the store, it was timed to be during moments of the day when I thought there would be the fewest people in the store. I did not want to see, talk, or be around any more people than I absolutely needed to.
Like I said at the beginning of this, my little story could be anyone’s story about fear. Just insert your current experience of fear and it would be the same. My experience is no different and in fact, if I had the time, I could write about a thousand fears I had which would work just as appropriately as this one.
As in other situations in my life, I have found that the moments where I was pushing beyond my fears are the moments when life started to change. Was this easy in those times? HELL NO! They were some of the roughest moments I endured. My knees would shake. My stomach would tremble with sickness. My bowels would release with diarrhea. My breath would feel like I was going to die and my mouth would be so dry, no amount of water would have quenched my thirst. In these moments, it felt like I could not move a muscle or convince my mind to move a muscle. Every cell in my body said to me, “there is no way you are going to do this and there is no way you can.”
Except – my cells were wrong! I mustered up all the courage I could find and the strength that I had in reserve and I said “enough damn it – enough – I’m not going to stay like this. I’m going to change this come hell or high water.” And I did. I remember taking those first steps out of the house hoping I could run back inside the door and just put this silly nonsense behind me. After all, why did I need to venture out? Could I not be content with what my life had become, hidden away from the world? Could I not just be happy with the way things are?
This is the end of Part 1. To read the rest of this blog post, please click on Part 2.
Blog Post And Images (c) 11/18/12 by Don Shetterly
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