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! 🙂