Time To Stop Letting Fear Hold Me Back

Photo of jail bars with text overlay Time To Stop Letting Fear Hold Me Back https://reclaiminghope.blog

Last Tuesday, I woke up not feeling so great. There’s nothing unusual about that, but on this particular day, I had a lunch date with my new neighbor. She had heard from my husband that my birthday was coming up and had very generously invited me to lunch. She was picking me up at 11:45, and here I was feeling like crap. I already some concerns:  would we have anything to talk about? (I don’t know her very well), would my hips do okay with whatever chairs we would be sitting in? (I can’t sit on hard chairs for very long or my hip bones flare up and I’m incapacitated for days), how far would I have to ride with her? (I don’t do well riding with other people), and now, I was feeling worse than usual on top of all this. Nerves started taking over, but I didn’t want to cancel on her, so I decided to put on my big-girl pants and go on.

When she came to pick me up, another neighbor, who I absolutely love, was in the back seat. The three of us went to a delightful little cafe just down the road from us, and we had a wonderful time! We had plenty to talk about, soft chairs to sit in, and a tasty lunch on top of that! As we left to head back home, I couldn’t help but think that if I had canceled, I would have missed out on a wonderful experience and a great chance to form a deeper relationship with a couple of my neighbors. I almost let my fear of what might happen hold me back.

Fear is a terrible companion, but one that has been faithfully by my side for quite a few years now. When my fibromyalgia first got really bad, I was living in a constant state of fear. Before I found out what was going on with my body, I honestly thought I was dying. I couldn’t imagine that I could feel so terrible and not have something seriously wrong. The pain wasn’t the major issue for me; it was the co-existing conditions that made me think something was terribly wrong, but that’s a story for another day….

After I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, that constant fear subsided as I realized that all these weird things that were happening to me were normal, but a more insidious type of fear took its place. Now instead of worrying that I was going to die, I would worry about what might happen: What if I am out somewhere alone and am suddenly too shaky to drive back home? What if I do this and I’m in too much pain to do what I had planned tomorrow? What if I do this and I hurt myself? I have to admit that this is still an ongoing battle for me. I want to have a normal life and do all the things “regular” people do, so I guard my schedule carefully and am very selective in the things I choose to do. This has worked really well for me as far as keeping the pain at bay and being able to participate in the things that are really important to me, but the longer I live with this cluster of symptoms, the more I realize that although my life looks normal, it really isn’t. I’m letting my fear of what might happen keep me from really living life to its fullest.

For me, this definitely doesn’t mean doing anything crazy, like skydiving or climbing Mt. Everest, but it does mean letting go of this tightly controlled leash I’ve had on my life and activity levels and deciding that it might be worth a few days of extra soreness to experience something new, to make a new friend, to do something I’ve always wanted to do, etc. I know my life will never be what it used to be, but I’m okay with that. I just want this new life to be one I’m actually living, not one that I’m just existing in.

That one little two-hour lunch really opened my eyes to just how much I’ve let my fear control me and what I might miss out on if I continue to let it take charge. It was absolutely vital for me to develop a self-care plan, establish boundaries, and do what I needed to do in order to give myself time to heal and grow stronger. Now it’s time for me to loosen the constraints and see what else God has in store for me!

Blessings,

~Terri

27 comments

    1. Thanks so much Heather! It’s so hard once the fear gets its claws into us…. I know for me it’s going to take a while to get where I want to be, but my plan is to just take baby steps. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this also, but I hope it helps to know you’re not alone. Hugs to you and Dizzy!🤗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Baby steps are my plan too. 🙂 I went for lunch with a friend last week and was so anxious. It did get the better of me but I went, and I survived. 🙂 xx We’ll get there, one baby step at a time. 🙂 Sending hugs. xxx

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I am so, so glad you went and had a lovely time! I find the same a lot of the time, not all of the time, but more than I probably realise. The thinking and the worry beforehand is often for nothing; the experience itself is not as bad or as daunting as expected, and the overthinking has proved to be worse. Fear and anxiety over the things we’ve had negative experiences of and the want for control can put us off, and if we let them, we can miss out on wonderful experiences. It’s so much easier said than done but I hope you can re-read this the next time you’re in a similar situation. Also, and I hope I haven’t missed this somewhere else on your blog, when is your birthday? I loved this post so thank you for sharing! xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Caz! You’re so right that the worrying is often for nothing, and I too often let it keep me from having some wonderful experiences. My birthday was last week – that’s why I didn’t get a post done – I was out having fun all week.😄 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel awful, I can’t remember if I said Happy Birthday, I’m so sorry. A very, very happy belated birthday! I really do hope you had a lovely week and lots of fun! I hope you have a positive weekend to look forward to this week 🙂
        xx

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  2. Oh Terri, I teared up reading this – I do the very same. Whether it is anxiety or excitement, I often work myself up before a visit or outing. It is hard not to fear all the particulars. Good for you for going anyway. Our souls need the nourishment of good company, and healthy escapes. Happy belated. You deserve only good things in your life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much V.J.! My goal for this year is to do some things I’m not completely comfortable with and see what happens. I think about you and your grand RV adventure and wonder if I’ll ever get the nerve up to do something like that. I love what you said about our souls needing the nourishment of good company and healthy escapes. I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for the birthday wishes also – blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Enjoyed this post so much. I am smiling because you and your neighbors had a lovely time celebrating you for your birthday and you also received the gift of encouragement. Now when I come to Visit we’ll check out the coffee shop too. Until then keep posting. Keeps me connected.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sarah – you are always my biggest cheerleader and I appreciate you so much! Do you remember the little shop close to the house, The Farm Basket, that we went to last time you guys were here? It was the cafe there….They have a wonderful upstairs dining room that I didn’t even know about, and if it’s nice out, we can sit outside by the creek. 😊 Come visit any time – your room is ready for you!

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  4. Beautiful experience, Terri! I also wrote about this, I think all spoonies experience it to some degree, unfortunately 😦 Once bitten, twice shy. When you’ve been bitten a hundred times…yea. Wishing you more mindfulness to help you along your path to fulfilment! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sheryl, I’m so sorry – somehow your comment ended up in my spam queue and I didn’t realize it until today! Thanks so much for your comment, and good wishes. You make a great point about the once-bitten, twice shy thing…. Thank you for stopping by!

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  5. You know Terri, I had to sit down and have a little talk with my friend, Fear. I told her I respected her warnings but I would no longer live my life the way she wanted me to. So Fear visits me, well often, and I always need to tell her it is time for her to go. (Like that guest that never leaves.) Fear is a good thing, it can be a lifesaver! Just don’t let it be in charge. You got this, Terri! And Happy Birthday, my friend! ~k.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so right that fear can be good, but can’t be in control Kim. My experience with fibro has been that the more I do, the more I’m able to do, but quite often, that fear of going backwards just takes over. I realized last week how much I was missing by letting the fear take over. Thanks for your words of encouragement and the birthday wishes! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. YES! YES! YES! Do it! Don’t look back. Oh, you have to much to offer others. So much you have learned that you can share. I will pray for courage and strength. For Godly wisdom, perception, insight, and discernment. Fear doesn’t come from God. And when you feel fear rising up, ask yourself what Satan is trying to keep you from. Who is wants you to stay away from? And then tell him to go to hell. Cinch up those big girl panties and get after it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, and for your comment. I’m learning that I have to differentiate between the things that are helpful (such as pacing, guarding my schedule, etc.) and what is just fear keeping me from doing things. It’s a learning process.😊

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