March Twenty-ninth Facing and Overcoming Fear

What a day yesterday was.

Sitting here this morning, I can hear the sounds of kittens. One of the not so strays for what ever reason, decided to have her babies in the back yard.She is up against the wall, but she is still outside. She’s near the opening under the house. She’s near the steps up into the house that she could easily get under. There are many many options around the house where she and her babies would be safe. Instead, she’s up against the wall with her four little ones. I’ve set a bowl of water near her and a paper plate with food for when she doesn’t want to leave her brood. I also have a cat shelter made from a plastic storage box someone gave me years ago. I placed a clean towel inside and tried to place it near her but she was having none of that. So I placed it a dozen or so feet away. This morning I moved it a couple feet closer under the guise of picking up a piece of paper in the yard. She saw, but didn’t react.

Yesterday my niece also shaped up my hair a bit. To me, it had a ragged appearance. To me, its more even and blended now. It could have and probably was fine to begin with, but she was so sweet to do this for me. My son still hasn’t said anything, if he’s even noticed, about my haircut.

The best and worse thing about yesterday, my son was coming home from his visit to Texas. On an airplane. Arriving in Charlotte. At night. I had to drive there alone, not fully knowing where I was going. Have I mentioned, that I have actually missed great events, because I didn’t want to drive when I was unsure of where I was going? Yes, being by myself making me odd person out doesn’t help at times, but its usually that fear of getting lost. At times though, I believe it was a result of my now late husband, when he found out my son and I were going somewhere while he was out on the road, asking why we were going when he couldn’t go. So, I stopped going…almost everywhere. Now I have to shove that aside and remember I have the freedom to just, go. But anyway, yesterday..

The closer it got to time to go, the more my anxiety ramped up. The greater my fears became. My attention and attempts at focus on anything became impossible. Sitting still for any real length of time became impossible. I did something I do not as a general rule do, I said something on social media. Did I want someone to go with me? Yes, no, maybe. Did I want to do this on my own? Yes, no, maybe. Was I afraid? Oh heck yes. I could write a long list of reasons, none of them would really hold water.

My brother saw my post and called me. He was telling me about a parking lot called the Cell lot. It was a free lot for you to park and wait on the arrival of those you are there to pick up. You park, when they arrive they call you and you go find them. He told me, “You can’t mess up”. I told him that somewhere deep in my mind I heard, “challenge accepted” and asked if he heard the voice saying, “Hold my coffee”. He laughed and offered more words of encouragement before we ended the call.

I needed a distraction and thought that my son would be hungry when he got home. I prepared his favorite baked spaghetti dish then waited. I would go out and check on the kittens. I would pace the floor. I would pour another cup of coffee. My mind and body in a nonstop movement fueled by anxiety. I fed the dogs a little early because I knew I was going to take Bella with me. As time ticked away.

His flight was scheduled to arrive at ten last night. For most, that would on a good day, be a thirty minute or less trip. With all the fears and anxiety and everything else messing with my head, I left an hour early. I was not going the interstate, I was going the way I came home when I dropped him off to start his adventure. I knew there would be several traffic lights, but those would allow me to take a breath and gather my bearings. I also prayed, a lot. At that time of night there was traffic, but it wasn’t too heavy. I only goofed once. I saw a sign for the airport and turned, wrong road. I made a U-turn and headed back out. As I returned to the road I saw the sign saying the airport turn was a third of a mile up the road. A third of the mile up the road was a very large, you shouldn’t miss it, sign for the airport entrance. I knew to stay to the right for the cell parking and actually found it fairly easily. I was twenty minutes early. I parked, I got as comfortable as one still nervous can get and listened to the radio as I waited. At times scrolling through social media on my phone, at times watching traffic passing by as if in a NASCAR race, all the time watching the moments tick away. Ten came and went. Ten fifteen came and went. Ten thirty came and went. There was nothing I could do but wait. Finally at around ten forty he called, ready for me to drive around and pick him up. And the anxiety that had never fully gone away, showed up in force. Where was I going? How do I find him? Am I going to face a road rage incident because I’m not a NASCAR driver and won’t be going that fast? In the end, I found the right entrance to pick up, I saw him waving to me, I pulled over, got out of the car and announced, “You’re driving”. He took over without comment and we made our way out of the pick up area. He took the interstate home.

Today, am I bothered and ashamed of allowing my fears to cause such issues? Yes, because they were unfounded and a serious waste of time and energy. Am I celebrating that I managed to go in spite of my fears and get my son home safely? Without a doubt or hesitation, yes. There is a quote I think attributed to John Wayne, “Courage is not a lack of fear. It is being afraid and doing it anyway.” We are not given a spirit of fear. Fear is that demon in the dark, the monster in the closet, the chain that holds you back preventing accomplishments and growth. Growing up if we ever said I can’t, my mother would come back with “can’t never could” which could be annoying even in its truth. Maybe it was the truth we (I) didn’t want to face that made the comment annoying.

Last night, I felt that the Good Lord was telling me, “I know you are afraid, but together we can do this. Trust me, talk with me, we’ll get there and all will be fine.” And it was. It embarrasses me that something as mundane as a drive to a new place would create such terror in my mind when others are facing so much worse. Their horrors very real, very intense, very dangerous, but they face them anyway. I’m sure there is a level of fear, but there is a greater level of bravery.

What can we do, in the face of fear? Whether it is anxiety brought on by a minor event or a major confrontation. How do we stand strong and accomplish what is needing to be done? Now, I am no doctor, I can’t tell you how to face your battles. I can tell you what I did, even in fear, to face my own.

I brought up a map of the airport. I learned the road in, the road around and where the cell parking lot was. Discovering how to get in and out of the parking area. I found the passenger pick up area. I also asked, a lot, of questions. This gave me the ability to plan my route.

I talked with people, allowing and accepting their encouragement. Hearing their belief in me and my ability.

I didn’t have anyone to go with me, so I took my dog Bella. She was and is, my emotional support. She is also big, brave and protective. She barks a lot too but that’s a different topic. She picked up on my emotions last night and was the best passenger, remaining quiet and still right up until my son got in the car.

I had the glasses with the yellow lens that helps with oncoming headlights. I had a cup of hot herbal tea, I had my phone.

I prayed, a lot, all the way there. A long, rambling, nonstop conversation that alleviated a lot of the fear that was attempting to strangle me. As soon as we stepped back inside the house, I also offered up a word of thank you for safety all around.

Will I feel that crippling fear and bout of anxiety again? I’m sure I will to some degree. I have allowed myself to become much too comfortable sitting here at home, going nowhere and doing not much of anything. But last night, I stepped out of this cushy comfort zone and faced that fear. Yes, it was because I had to go pick up my son, but the fear of messing up was real anyway. Last night though, for me, was a major accomplishment. For me, with God’s strength assisting me, guiding me, reassuring me, I faced and I overcome. I moved a notch and a rung up a ladder. I can do it again. 

Circus of the Americas, Austin Texas

About rebecca s revels

A writer, a photographer, a cancer survivor. An adventurer of the mild kind, a lover of the simple pleasures such as long walks and chocolate. A Christian unashamed of my faith and a friend who is dependable and will encourage readily. Author of three self published books with more waiting to find their way to paper. An advocate of good things, a fighter against wrongs.
This entry was posted in dogs, education, encouragement, faith, family, growth, inspiration, life's journey, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to March Twenty-ninth Facing and Overcoming Fear

  1. Hope all goes well for you Rebecca and Bella is your best puppy friend.

  2. pkadams says:

    I feel you. I’ve developed a strong fear of flyovers and Houston is full of them. I never had this problem before. I think it’s a trauma reaction to my husband almost dying from COVID . I wonder if your fear is a trauma reaction? Basically ptsd . Just thinking about driving over a flyover makes me feel panicky . I was able to drive over one that wasn’t too high but I couldn’t do the high one last time I went to Houston. Driving fears are actually common. And bridge phobias. Hugs!

    • You may be correct. I think also that its left over from a disagreement of sorts that I had with my husband. As a truck driver he was rarely home. He kept making snide, sarcastic comments on why was I going places when he can’t go. So I quit going. I’m still struggling past that.
      I remember living just outside of Lake Charles, LA and that I10 bridge. That thing terrified me.

    • leendadll says:

      Californian here… what’s a “flyover”?

      The term reminded me of my fear of being a land casualty in a plane crash. Not a great fear to have when virtually everywhere is SoCal is under an ascent or descent path!

      • pkadams says:

        Hi there, a flyover is a very high overpass on the freeway . In Houston we have many freeways that cross each other and the intersection requires multiple levels of elevated roads , some are very high and a single lane and it gives you the feeling of being up in a plane. You can see them on Google if you search Houston flyovers. I never had a problem with these before as I grew up in Houston.

      • leendadll says:

        We have lots of high “overpasses”. The single lane aspect might freak out.

      • okay………..just………no. I wasn’t sure, but knowing for a fact, Me and heights are not friends.. I’ll stick to my back country roads that don’t have flyovers.

  3. elvira797mx says:

    Dear Rebecca, send you a hug.
    Keep well.

  4. leendadll says:

    Wow… my feed was 2 back-to-back post about confronting & conguering intense fear. I’d usually assume it’s a Life Message but I’m not prone to fear. But maybe something’s gonna happen that I will fear and need to confront.
    And now I’m paranoid!

    Good on ya for taking on the challenge! Do you have a nav system? Phone app?

    Point for the future: airplane arrival time is generally the time they reach the gate. It’s usually 30m plus for deboarding and walking through the airport. 60+ if the have luggage.

    • Hopefully I won’t have to deal with this again for a long time. He explained that the plane was delayed in take off by that thirty minutes. That is what had me waiting and watching the time. I do have the phone app, but the route to the airport is really a straight shot on the road I took. I checked, double and triple checks just to figure out where to pick him up, the whole event turned out to be very easy, and a real waste of a good anxiety attack.

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