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Your fear blanket

Saira Valley

Posted on October 25 2018

Your fear blanket

You are probably reading this and wondering, what the hell is a fear blanket? 

I've spoken very openly about my struggle with hypochondria, anxiety, and depression for which I took Zoloft, sought therapy, and hid from. These things are very difficult to face, and even more difficult to overcome. But It was just recently that I realized that my fear was more then a condition, it was a habit. 

I have spent so many years of my life freaking out about death, disease, do people like me, do they hate me? Am I stupid, ugly, fat. Like smoking, these patterns become a habit and for better or worse, we cling to them because they are familiar to us. You all know that friend you have who drags you down, but you have been friends for so long, they are just part of your life. So, you stay friends, because that is what you have always done. 

It dawned on me that my fear, was almost a security blanket. I wore it all the time because it was something familiar, something I was used to. Good, bad, it didn't matter because it was predictable and had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember remembering. I stayed in an abusive relationship for years for the same reasons; not because I didn't know it wasn't healthy for me, but because it was safer then the alternative, the alternative being the unknown, the alone. 

I have a feeling this is true for a lot of people. That fears of the unfamiliar cause you to cling evermore to the life you have even if that life leaves you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy. Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? 

Turns out, for me anyways it was as if this fear was a prophylactic. As long as I was afraid, I would be safe. As long as I clung to my hypochondria it was a predictable partner, and maybe by worrying about being sick all the time, I would prevent myself from actually becoming sick! 

I think we all know it doesn't work that way LOL! But a person who is crippled by anxiety doesn't often think rationally. We have our own logic. I did finally realize that this security blanket of fear I wrapped myself in was not actually doing anything good for me. It wasn't saving me from anything, it wasn't keeping me safe, or making me happy. So I had to make a decision. I was either going to give up and live in this blanket forever because it what I've always done, or, I was going to throw it away and learn to live life without falling back on my fear as a coping mechanism

Your mind, is so incredibly powerful. It has the power to convince you that you can be a world class athlete who can break world records, or the power to convince you that you are weak and meaningless.

The truth is, you are whatever you choose. I say this as someone who once was on the other side, looking at others who were free from fear and who lived adventurously with nothing but love for life even in the face of disease or disability. And I sat on the other side, healthy, employed and able bodied but totally paralyzed by my brain that was programmed to make me feel like those things were for other people. I would never be good enough. I would never be unafraid. 

Until the day I decided NOT to be afraid anymore. The day I decided to just, try. Try to NOT go down the rabbit hole. Try NOT to believe the worst was coming. Try to believe that even if it DID, I would be OK. 

If you feel trapped, alone, afraid, or suffer from chronic anxiety like I did. I just want you to know, it doesn't have to be that way. I am evidence, that even the most messed up brain can be retrained. I have days where the old habits come out, but they are less and less. You can be free. Next week I will provide some more details on things I did to help shed my old ways, and embrace healthier ones. 

Just to get you a jump start, we are currently reading Girl Wash Your Face in our little blood club. If you want to learn more, just head on over to our community and locate the book club discussion group in the album section!

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1 comment

  • Kim E Miller: October 29, 2018

    Saira this was very helpful from one who is new to recognizing I have anxiety. Thank you!

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