scaredy cat

August-17-2011-12-36-23-14343-1141a1-500-333

With the help of some very creative advertisements, we have acquired an impressive array of new medical terms. While far from experts, our vocabulary suddenly consists of disorders, illnesses, and medication that we should ask our Doctors about. None of this amuses me more than the vast list of phobias that we’ve become familiar with. Some of the phobias that my online search found were: linonophobia, a fear of string, bibliophobia, a fear of books, and hylophobia, a fear of trees or wood.

I mean no disrespect to those truly suffering but I can’t help but think that some of these may have been an excuse to create a long word with complicated spelling. While this may provide minutes of gentle chuckling to an insensitive person like me, everybody is afraid of something. So who am I to say that there isn’t somebody who is genuinely terrified of a string. Oh boy, try saying that to yourself with a straight face.

The idea of swimming in murky water, when I can’t see my surroundings, scares me. Or if a fish actually touches me I will freak out. But neither of these feel like real fears that would hinder my life in any way. I still swim in lakes and oceans and have even snorkeled in the highly populated Great Barrier Reef. So I’ve dug a little deeper, tried to be very honest with myself, and what I’ve come up with is a little bit surprising – I am afraid of being seen.

When I first started this blog, it was because I was coming out of a bad place mentally and I wanted to put a good vibe out into the universe. Not for the purpose of reading, but rather it just felt good to be written. There was very little thought put into it; I just opened my mind and my hands did the rest. When I got a small positive response I should have felt proud of myself. Instead I remember feeling embarrassed. Even with the comfort of online anonymity, I felt exposed and vulnerable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am getting great pleasure in alleviating the pressure from my brain and allowing my thoughts to flow from me in written form. Yet as I continue writing, I still find myself feeling anxious about being read. For me, creating a post and then having it read is comparable to meeting somebody for the first time knowing that they have already done a complete background check on me including video footage. It’s a feeling so unsettling that I had once wondered if it were worth it.

I am a fairly realistic person, so I know my readers mainly consist of my family. Even so, whenever they ask me how things are going or when I’m going to post again, I shy away from the conversation awkwardly. A little while back, when I was thinking I should just quit – I mean it’s not as if I had a rabid following that I’d be abandoning – I got an unexpected text message from my brother. He told me that I had a gift and that I ought to continue at it. I hadn’t known it but that was exactly what I needed to hear. In an instant, my spirits were lifted and I decided that I was really going to go for it. Since then, I have started an online writing course and have allowed myself to fall completely in love with writing regardless of who reads it.

So now that I have identified and admitted my fear, does this mean that I will forever be labeled as scopophobic? No. Thanks to the unexpected and much appreciated support of my brother and anybody else who has given me a lovely response, I will continue putting my thoughts out there and will let people see what is inside of me. Hope you like it! 🙂

5 thoughts on “scaredy cat

  1. Once again, I can identify with every word you penned. I’m terrified of being in an enclosed area with flying birds after a childhood chicken coop trauma. However, I can live with this fear. Being known, exposed, vulnerable…yikes way more scary!
    P.S. I took your advice and cried until I had a throbbing headache. But guess what, that was the only pain bothering me. 🙂

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    • I’m glad that we’re on the same page. Good for you for finally letting it all out. Enjoy the lightness that comes with it! 🙂

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  2. Hey there! I found your blog through Salty Avocado, and thought I’d see what your blog was all about. I’ve been reading your posts, and I can really relate to you. I’m quite the anxious person, although this has lessened over the past few years. I used to be exceptionally socially anxious, but have done so much work around this issue that it doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to. I still have numerous phobias, however. The biggies are elevators, going to the doctor, blood, public speaking and heights. And I’m a psychotherapist for gosh sakes! Of course, they say that most therapists go into the field because they want to fix their own problems. It’s a pleasure to read your honest, well written posts. Celeste 🙂

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    • That is very kind of you to say. It means a lot coming from somebody of your expertise. I speak merely as someone going through the motions and figuring it out as I go along. It is amazing though, that the simple act of examining or talking about anxiety can be such a monumental step in the right direction. I can relate to some of your fears as well; blood especially, bleh! Thanks again for the lovely comment, I really appreciate the feedback.
      Cheers 🙂

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      • Talking about anxiety is HUGE! One of the big problems with anxiety is our shame around it. For years I was so afraid for anyone to find out that I was shy. It was like some secret that I had to keep hidden because if anyone found out they’d reject me for sure. I had trouble even admitting to my therapist that I was there for social anxiety. It sounds silly, but shame is such a prison!! I absolutely agree with you that talking about anxiety is a monumental step in the right direction. Celeste 🙂 PS – thanks for following!

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