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Make mine an Oreo...

  • By girly-d
  • On 25/04/2018

I'm on a quest to calm my inner fears. No mean feat, considering I have loads...

Fear of not being good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, successful enough, that I haven't quite 'achieved' list of day to day fears are endless. They would drive me mad if I let them, unable to leave the house, thanks to the crippling insecurities that helpfully come as standard with each and every one of I try to ignore them, in the hope that they will eventually get bored and therefore leave me alone.

I'm doing it all wrong.


According to a pretty cool, pretty wise friend of mine called Tom who's a self-confessed expert on fear and its scare tactics.

Because ignoring fear doesn't work. It's job is to alert you to danger. To grab your attention. To tell you to drop what you are doing and take cover. Like NOW...It's job is to protect you and try to keep you safe from harm.

That is the true purpose of fear. The trigger of chemicals rushing into your bloodstream reminding you to either 'fight or flight' your way out of a potentially dangerous situation. It's primitive. It's what kept our ancestors safe...inner red flags and pure gut instinct...warning of dinosaurs or hungry bears or whatever obstacles that needed to be faced back then.

Not this, massively diluted, incredibly self-destructive version that makes us afraid of the everyday stuff.

Like what other people think of us for example.

So when those inner fears strike, my friend suggests this as a strategy. Instead of running away from them, confront them head on. Acknowledge them. Invite them in. Put the kettle on. Give them a biscuit...and listen. 

Listen to what they are actually trying to tell you opposed to what you think they have been telling you. The chances are there is a lesson there for you.

Like this one for example.

I struggle with self-image. 

The woman that I see all smiley and happy and carefree in photographs is not the person that I face each day in the mirror. My self image is distorted. For the last five years I refused any photographs, because I was self-concious and anxious and thought I looked hideous...despite all evidence to the contrary now.

I'm not, by the way...Hideous, I mean.

Far from it. I'm fine - 'Normal' looking. Attractive even.

But that's not what my fears were telling me.

So I did what Tom said. I sat with my fears and I gave them a biscuit...and this is what they told me when I asked them for my lesson.

 My time in addiction took it's toll for a while. I lost a lot of weight. My hair fell out. My skin was grey. I looked ill, dishevelled and scruffy. Because I was back then...and so I couldn't bear to see my own reflection.

I was ill for a long time. Several years in fact. My shame and insecurity was deep-rooted.

And so subconciously, as a coping mechanism, a part of my mind holds onto those images and tries to protect me from the perceived harm that someone waving a camera around could inflict on me today...even though I am now happy and healthy and well again.

My subconcious negative body images are stronger than my positive ones. It makes perfect sense given the situation, and so now that I know this, I know that I need to work on re-programming my thoughts in order to cultivate a stronger, more realistic body image. 

That's my lesson...

Well one of them. I still have a few more inner-demon dragons to slay...but then we all do.

None of us are perfect. We all have our moments.

So maybe after reading this, have a look at your own doubts and fears. Then find somewhere quiet, put the kettle on, offer them a biscuit - and be prepared to feel enlightened...