Saturday Seven: I’m Not Afraid…Much…

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List the things you’d do if you weren’t so afraid.

Oh Lizz, how appropriate. How did you know that I was afraid of things?

I try to pretend that I’m not really afraid. And I seek out things to do to prove it. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I gave blood. I’m TERRIFIED of needles, but I did it as part of a bargain I made with myself. The letter of recommendation I so desperately needed went through – and so, I gave back. I am on my way out the door as we speak, to stand up in front of a crowd of people and speak. I like to climb things.

But the truth is, as you all know, that I am afraid of a lot of things. Maybe not heights or public speaking, but other things.

If I weren’t so afraid, I would…

1. Give Myself Permission to Fail. Because cognitively, I know that we learn as much from our failures as from our successes. Because I spend so much time worrying about what might happen if I fail, that I sometimes forget to enjoy the process. And chances are, failure wouldn’t happen. But if I could just give myself the permission to do it? That would be golden.

2. Write a Novel. SO MANY times I’ve started. So many. And I get halfway through, start hating everything I’ve done, questioning my plot, my characters, my story… and then I either stop, or start over from scratch. It would be nice to actually finish one of my stories, without being so afraid that I’m not doing a good job at it.

3. Go out Dancing. Kelly wishes I’d do this. I’ve done it… once. But crowds scare me. I’m claustrophobic as hell, and being stuck in the middle of a crowd of people, unable to move, with their sweaty bodies all over mine? Panic attack waiting to happen.

4. Ride Rollercoasters. I don’t know if this really counts. I hate them. I hate rides. I hate the feeling of sickness and anticipation. I have drugs for that feeling, dammit, and I don’t go out of my way to seek it out. But I see other people having fun on them, and I’m jealous. I wish I liked them. I wish that they didn’t scare me so much.

5. Eat Healthier. I think this one is a combination of the OCD and the Sensory Processing issues I have (certain textures are just intolerable to me). I have a confession. I don’t like vegetables. Or many fruits. Or anything whole grain. And trying new foods for me is scary – I don’t know why. I’ll get a forkfull of something in front of my mouth and just…can’t…open… because it might be nasty. As if eating nasty things is the worst thing in the world. I know my diet is lacking. And if I weren’t so afraid, I would try new things. For now, I stick to my meat, cheese, bread, and potatoes.

6. Throw Away the Boxes of Rubber Gloves that are stored in my apartment. Boxes. In all shapes and sizes. Latex and vinyl – just in case. The OCD hasn’t been bad enough for me to wear gloves in public in almost a year, but I still use them to clean out my refrigerator, take out garbage, and do other things that are, well… scary… because I’m afraid if I get anything on my hands, I’ll go off in a washing fit and scrub myself raw. They take up room I could be using for something else. And I really wish I wasn’t so afraid to be without them.

7. Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth. I usually do that here. But out in the real world, I still falter sometimes when people ask me how I’m doing. I still hesitate to tell people when I’m struggling with my OCD. I still hide when I have panic attacks – afraid of what people will think of me… ME, the successful, on the ball, all put together one… if they see me in a moment of weakness. As an advocate, I try to speak as much as possible. As a human being, I’m still self conscious about other people’s perceptions of me.

For me, things like riding motorcycles or singing in public are scary, but in a good way. Those are the fears I’ll face head on. Hang-gliding? Deep sea diving? I can do extreme if I must, and will seldom let fears stand in my way. It’s the little things, the small what-ifs, the day-t0-day challenges that get me. And I’m working on them… one plate of broccoli at a time.

*Bobs

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The Saturday Seven was created by Lizz over at Am I a Funny Girl. It is inspired by the ever-popular book List Yourself: List Making as a Way to Self Discovery. I’m playing because it’s fun. I encourage you all to play too!

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4 Comments to “Saturday Seven: I’m Not Afraid…Much…”

  1. OCD can really be an agonizing experience. You have a great perspective and I’m glad you’ve posted this. I really hope others find your site as useful as I have.

    Cheers,
    David
    http://www.allthingsdepression.com

  2. I’m with you on the novel. People have been telling me for years I should write one, but I’m just too afraid of the rejection!

  3. I truly am sorry that anyone has to live with such fear. If OCD is managing someone’s life, thank goodness for the Internet. They can grow socially, meet all kinds of people and maybe even find themselves taking over management. A good friend has taught me what she goes through. She has waves and on good days, she can actually come out and have lunch with me.

    Thanks for visiting my site, Bobbi.

  4. Fear of making a mistake or failing is one of my struggles–I am learning more and more that my idea of “failure” is arbitrary, and if I move toward mistakes rather than away, I gain so much freedom. It was scary to start because I believed if I failed at anything, I was worthless and unredeemable–it took a lot of work to see that failure doesn’t determine my worth. As for the gloves–start small, maybe throwing one pair away.

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