…Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be…
Ah, great song, right? That’s a classic. Believe it or not, Salt-n-Pepa is still around. Who woulda thought…
Anywho, as much as I love old school tune-age, that’s not the point of this post. No, today we are here to talk about fear.
Yesterday was supposed to be a “stop-and-smell-the-flowers” rest-ish day for me. Which meant a walk was in order.
It was right about then – when I was thinking, “Wow, these flowers kinda smell like poo. Note to self: When stopping to smell the flowers, pick ones that smell good…” – that a roll of thunder rumbled its way across the atmosphere. The flowers – and their lack of olfactory pleasantness – were quickly forgotten as I turned tail for shelter.
You see, I am TERRIFIED of thunderstorms. I morph into a quivering three-year-old – shaking, grasping for mommy, fat tears rolling down my face. I’m proud to say I haven’t peed my pants…yet. It’s a distinct possibility every time a severe storm pops up.
I’m getting heart palpitations and sweaty palms just thinking about thunderstorms – or any related form of severe weather. The odd thing is, though, I’ve never had a particularly traumatic experience involving thunder or lightning or torrential downpours or hail or – gosh forbid – tornadoes. I’ve never been struck by lighting. I’ve never been injured by flying detritus flung up by gale force winds. Never caught in a flood. In short, I have no real reason to fear storms. So, why then, do a flash of lighting and roar of thunder have the ability to make me so dang bajiggity?
Some may be compelled to refer to this irrational fear of mine as a phobia.
Now, in terms of the pure definition of the word “phobia”, my issues with storms certainly fit the bill. However, I believe this phobia – and phobias in general, for that matter – have more to do with control, or lack thereof, than anything else.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have control issues. I like to be the Queen of my own Domain, if you will. I like for my decisions to be my decisions and for my schedule of life events to transpire because I set things out a certain way. I like to be in control of my circumstances, mind, and body – this is why I have never done hard drugs and why I do not take cold medicine.
Please, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not a complete and total control freak. I realize that I obviously cannot command many, MANY things in my life. Accordingly, I have developed coping mechanisms over the years to help me deal with this. Namely, running, breathing exercises, and…
However, none of these things work in a thunderstorm – no, not even Chickie. Why? Well, I think thunderstorms are the true manifestation of my fear of not being in control. At least in other situations I can find one small thing to grasp onto that makes me feel a bit like the author of my own destiny (ah, nothing like waxing poetic, hmmm?) but not so for extreme weather. There is no predicting (I don’t care what the weathermen say) what havoc Mother Nature might wreck upon us mere mortals and there is certainly no reasoning with her once she gets started. We are all at her mercy, whether we like it or not. And she can be one crazy bit**.
Dealing with my astra-, astrapo-, bronto-, kerauno-, lilapsophobia is an ongoing struggle but one I’m willing to work on. I’ve got to try more mindfully applying the coping mechanisms that seem to work for most anything else life throws at me. Though something tells me I should leave Chickie at home – the sight of a grown woman carrying around an aged Puffalump might give people the wrong idea…
And ya know what? Giving up control every once in a while and just going with the flow is
probably good for me – as long as Momma Nature doesn’t choose that moment to strike me down with 40 kiloamperes of heavenly electricity.
What are you most afraid of? Would you consider your fear a phobia?
What kinds of coping mechanisms do you use to deal with your fears/stresses/etc.?
Do you think it’s sometimes best to give up all control and just roll with it?