“Fears are educated into us, and can, if we wish, be educated out.”- Karl Augustus Menninger
This is the second post in my series on relationships. As previously mentioned, the time has come to get this all out coherently, so bear with me. It will be broken down into three separate posts (1. Learning To Be More Open) so that this isn’t too overbearing.
I am a scaredy cat.
Putting my diagnosed anxiety on the side for a moment, I’m still scared of everything. Fun fact- I cried heavily (to the point of struggling to breathe) before building up the courage to get on the back of a motorbike. Fear has consumed a portion of me from a young age. As a child, being told off by adults was one of my biggest fears, as it would bring me to tears. Eighteen years of academia later and I still get like that; lecturers, I’m
sorry– not sorry. I fear shadows that aren’t there in reality but are very much real in my mind; I fear finding bones in my food- a reason why I shouldn’t consume meat in my opinion and I fear prolonged loneliness.
A quick Google search has revealed to me that the latter fear of prolonged loneliness is in fact monophobia. That’s not to say that loneliness cannot be withstood, in the same way that many of my fears can be withstood. My fear of spiders can be withstood thanks to a handy gift from one of my best friends. I can withstand being alone if I know that someone will check I’m alive from time to time.
As I get older I’m getting more aware of my fears. It’s also apparent that I need to be able to work with or around them as opposed to against them.
Of course, I can avoid public speaking for as long as humanly possible. But, I’ll never improve at it or conquer my fear of public speaking unless I try. In a way it’s similar to my fear of riding a motorbike; only overcome by trial. I don’t expect to completely overcome the fears that make me who I am. But if I can get even one fear under control then that’s good enough for me for right now.