Thursday, February 2, 2012

Not letting fear & anxiety win...

"Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here."
~ Marianne Williamson

Overcoming my fear is a struggle. Snow is coming in a predicted excessive amount today. I know, I know... I live in Colorado. Of course I am going to have to deal with snow & icy, dangerous, driving conditions.
I experienced a great loss when I was a Senior in High School. I loved this person very much & he was taken from me by a drunk driver just when we had finally found eachother again. This tragic loss instilled a fear that continued to grow & paralize me over the years.
I was so afraid to get behind the wheel of a vehicle I would go into a panic just thinking about the possibility of it. I feared hurting someone else the way I had been. Even being a passenger in a vehicle I began to avoid looking out the front window because I was afraid of every intersection, puddle of water, slick spot or other irresponsible drivers. I would stare out the side windows, & if the weather was bad, I would continually pray for a safe arrival throughout the whole trip. Praying from a place of fear, doubt & anxiety.
To my detriment, though I know it was from a place of love, those around me continued to drive me whenever I needed to go somewhere important. I walked ALOT. I have no idea how many miles have been put on these feet.
Due mainly to financial situations I was without a car for 4 years while living in Joplin, Mo. Which is a city that does NOT have a Public transportation system and many miles of road without sidewalks. My boys were young at this time so it was quite a struggle & difficult for them, because I walked them EVERYWHERE. So there is the guilt added on to the fear.
Additional guilt involves, because of my fear I was limited with my working life. I could only work at places that were close to my residence. This limited my contribution to the family finances, which led to my husband having to make up the difference.
When I was 26 I got a great job with a great company. I had to get my liscence in order to keep the position & be eligible for promotions because I had to make the night drop at the bank.
With help from my wonderful husband & a determination to overcome my fear that had limited so much of my life's potential; I studied & passed & got my drivers liscence. Yay, I conquered it & thought I was a doofus to have waited so long. But, not so fast...
My husband referred to me as an "excessive defensive driver" & encouraged me to be more confident & less skittish. He advised me that I was more likely to get in an accident or cause one because I am over-defensive. (By-the-way, my husband is a professional otr driver, so he definitely knows his stuff.)
I worked on that & tried to be more confident. Perhaps too confident. 2 years ago I got in my first personal car accident that involved an unexpected snow storm. I was not paying attention to the road conditions & driving too fast, for the conditions. I spun out & wrecked my car. Thankfully it was not totaled & my husband was able to band-aid my car back together.
The accident frightened me & now my fear & anxiety has returned with a vengence & transferred to driving in inclement weather. Luckily I have access to public transportation & I will be definitely accessing it during this storm.
I know I need to find a way to overcome this new fear. I will hopefully find a way to master this pain & get over it.

What fear do you struggle with?