Mental Health Monday: Dealing with fear

Today I am linking up with Julia to participate in my first Menatal Health Monday post! I’m going to be talking about fears and how we overcome them.

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Everyone has things that they are afraid of. For some people that’s heights, the dark, being alone, spiders, swimming, etc. the list could go on forever. For people who deal with disordered eating they develop an irrational fear of food. I know I did.

Why is it that food became the thing I feared the most? I remember being a little kid I was afraid of A LOT of things, some of which still scare me today but not as much as before. One of my big fears was thunderstorms. I hated the loud claps of thunder and that flash of light that lit up a dark sky. I was terrified to being struck or having that light somehow get into my house. I used to hysterically cry and hide during a storm. My parents or siblings would have to distract me to help calm me down.

Over time things got better. I no longer cried or needed to hide. I would get a fright and an uneasy feeling in my stomach but eventually even that went away. Now, I actually love thunderstorms. I never understood my sister when she told me that she loved them and always thought she was crazy. I don’t know how exactly I conquered this fear but I did. I guess it had something to do with exposure therapy. The more thunderstorms I experienced and lived through, the easier it was to cope with them.

If I was able to get over this fear, doesn’t that mean I can do the same with anything  else that scares me? I don’t consider myself to have any fear foods anymore having used exposure therapy with those. Eating them, and then realizing it’s okay, nothing bad happened. That fear that I would automatically gain 50 pounds from eating one thing I deemed unsafe, didn’t happen, and as I continued to eat them, the fear gets smaller and smaller until it no longer exists.

Right now there is something holding me back. I’m afraid of something. I’m afraid of increasing and eating more than those around me, falling victim to the comparison trap. I’m also afraid of gaining weight. Both of these are IRRATIONAL. I know it but still there is something holding me back. Maybe it’s because I fear I won’t love myself at a higher weight or other people won’t love me. Both of these ideas are crazy and I’m able to acknowledge them but when it’s time to face them, I cower.

We’re so comfortable with the fear itself that our fear no longer is the thing itself but overcoming the fear and not being able to identify with that fear anymore. People hate change, it’s human nature. We all try to resist it but in order to grow and challenge ourselves, we need to change. I know that the more I work at increasing in order to gain weight, the less scary it will be. As I gain weight, I might not even be able to tell and the more I gain, and continue to accept myself, the fear will begin to subside until it is a fear of the past, just like thunderstorms.

I don’t know where exactly I went with this post and hope it all flows. I hope it makes sense and someone can maybe relate.

So tell me:

What are you afraid of?

What fears have you conquered? 

 

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