As a recovering scaredy cat I identify with this excuse. For me the world was one big scary place. I was afraid. I was scared of height. Of the dark. Of small spaces. Of spiders. Of being judged. Of myself. Of being myself. Hell I was virtually scared of my own shadow. I created these thoughts. I abused my imagination to invent a reality and environment full of anxiety, worry, fear, and terror. I, me Brittany, made the world a scary place. Granted now I tend to get slack for being to innocent minded (admittedly I could be a little more prepared thought), hiking and traveling on my own. But I am done living in fear. I am done not living. I am done focusing on doom and gloom. I am done fearing being out of control, of dying, of not knowing. I walk by myself because it makes me feel alive. I am not going to let being scared, hold me back to merely existing.
This morning brought me back 3 years, when I was scared. Looking up at my tree stand, the video plays in my head. I decided I’m going to be a hunter. My dad and brother set up my treestand, ‘Climb!’ Heights? You better believe that was on my checklist of Yeah Rights. I shakily climbed the tree. Got a death grip on the tree and somehow managed to turn myself around to sit down, where I was literally glued. I couldn’t get up to get down. The ground was so much further away. I was sweating. My breathing skyrocketed (I felt like I couldn’t breathe). Panic. Absolute panic. I can’t get down.
Obviously since I am no longer in the tree, I managed to get down. And I continued to get up in that tree. I sat up there in rain and wind, with a swaying tree. Today staring up, the daunting encroaching anxiety is gone. I am excited to climb up there. A morning in the woods, watching the sun come up, listening to the wilderness sounds surrounding me. Being in my tree stand provides that euphoria that hiking does. I am alive.
I had to tell myself I could do it. That it wasn’t that high. That by dwelling and exaggerating the fear, I only amplified my scared scale. Stop being scared. Take a different perspective.
- Scaredy Cat. (leonthewhale.com)