Monday, 12 April 2010

Fear.Com

If anyone asked me what type of personality I have it is a simple answer. I am the typical type A person. I like to be in control, organised and have a plan. The general idea of 'letting myself go' I find hard, but when I do I have a great time. I guess I do not like the feeling that I have to be in control of my life, but it is who I am and I have always accepted that.


Therefore, one part of my life I do not get along with are my fears. This is because it is pretty much defined by many; that your fears control you. As a result they are in control when in those situations. I think I can say the same for people, who are not like me, feel the same way about what they are fearful of. We all have fears and it is a fact of life. Whether it is heights, spiders, death, unable to conceive children or a certain colour we all have a fear that controls us.


And you know what? I hate that because to me and in my thinking that cannot happen. I like to be control of what I fear. Not the other way round. 


I have many fears but there are two fears that actually make me sweat, palpitate and no lie I find it hard just typing about them here. When I talk about these fears to people some have actually laughed and said 'it's nothing' but to me they are huge mountains to climb when faced with them.


They are vomiting and being upside down. 


I know to some this may sound trivial and I could say the same to people who fear heights and enclosed spaces etc because I don't mind them. But I wouldn't, I would never do that. I know people do not like being sick or being upside down but I have an irrational fear of them.


My fears are quite easy to control because they are not part of everyday life. In most cases I can avoid them. Easy.


The vomiting fear started when I was 16 years old. I had been studying for my Maths GCSE exam and without a pass I could not get onto my college course to get me into Nursing. I studied my butt off for those two exams. Then in the middle of the night my younger brother and sister began vomiting. I panicked. I convinced myself that if I got that sickness bug I would not be able to do that exam. So from then on it became a 'game' of not getting the illness. What annoys me is I did the exam and I did not actually vomit or get the bug. However, that fear has been etched into me ever since. When I get a nauseous feeling that I am going to vomit I cry my eyes out. I have massive panic attacks and I pace the floors and walls. I have only been sick once since my fear started and I fainted afterwards. I do not feel it is something I will ever get over. I can deal with people vomiting, I wouldn't make a good nurse if I could not. Yet, the fear of me vomiting will always be overpowering.


The fear of being upside down does not originate from anything I can remember. I just hate the feeling of it and the head rush. I panic so much that something bad will happen to me. I remember last year a friend of mine 'Fireman' lifted me and I was upside down behind his back. I have never shrieked my head off so badly. As I type this I feel that I come across really pathetic but I am just so fearful of feeling like that!


I have never confronted those fears because 1) I do not want to purposely make myself vomit and 2) it does not affect my everyday life. It just stays in a closet at the back of my head.


However, I recently had to face the fear of being upside down on this thing:



A roller-coaster.

Whenever I have gone to theme parks I have always made sure I went in groups. This is so that I could get out of going on the roller-coasters. But the people who wanted to go on still had someone to go on with. I always thought it was a good tactic to avoid my fear. Just the thought or notion of being upside down for a few seconds fills me with dread. 

However, when I went to Disneyland Paris last week with Lotte it was just us two. Guess what?

Lotte loves roller-coasters. The more loops and twists the better.

I panicked.com and made the most silly excuses.

I did not want to be in Disneyland any more. I seriously wanted to click my shoes together and be whisked to the comfort of my own home. 

Lotte knew about my fear but she just kept saying I had to face it. I know she did not want to sound selfish but it was no fun for her to go on these rides on her own all the time. All just because they went upside for a few seconds. So I gulped down my pride of trying to avoid the situation and said 'Sure! I'd love to go on with you!'

I did not sleep all night. I engulfed myself with ideas that something bad would happen. It sounds trite but I was convinced that my fear would jinx the ride.

Waiting in that queue line felt like a century. My heart was thumping out of my chest and I could not feel my own fingers because I was biting them so much. I hid my crying eyes with my hair so I did not have to admit to a queue of people that I was afraid of being upside down on the loops and corkscrews. I remember at one point there was a girl behind me eating a hot dog! I just kept saying to Lotte how and Earth could she eat at a time like this when she was about to go UPSIDE DOWN! I must have sounded like some crazy and irrational young lady.

But that's exactly what I was! It was almost laughable.

Once we were locked into the ride I just closed my eyes and burst into more tears whilst we were transferred to the black tunnel (of doom).The whole time I had my eyes closed shut and I could feel exactly when we went upside down and I felt every corkscrew. My head was being chucked everywhere and there was music blaring into my ears. It was horrible!

Once the ride was over I have never escaped so quickly. I remember Lotte saying 'You faced your fear I am so proud of you' and you know what it wasn't until she said that that I had realised what I achieved. Once we had come off I was checking every ounce of me for a scratch or anything to prove that being upside down for parts of that ride had done something horrific to me. As I type that I realise how melodramatic I was :)

Yet, it slowly dawned on me that I was okay and that my fear of being upside for any momentary period was not as scary as I first thought. I always hear my Mum's words of usually things are not as scary as we make them out to be. It is so true! I had created this monster and this fear being twice the size than it actually was.

I will not say that my fear has been eradicated.

I confronted it on a roller-coaster.

Now I am less fearful. 

I am sure next time there will be less tears. After all as said in 'A Cinderella Story' - Never Let The Fear Of Striking Out Keep You From Playing The Game. Although my fears do not interrupt my life on a regular basis I am satisfied in knowing that they cannot stop me from enjoying life when faced with them.

But I am certain I will not be asking someone to lift me upside down just to see :)

Do you have any fears? 
Do you react the same way as I do?

7 comments:

Janet said...

How very brave of you! I don't like being on a rollar coaster, never have, but you facing your fear on one was a great achievement!

Stacie said...

hey hon. my cousin had a fear of vomiting like yours- she was actually diagnosed as an emetophobic. she, though was only 13. she has gotten over it and past it though. i think she talked with a counselor, dietician, etc. she got better.

and, hey, i am afraid of spiders. even the tiny small ones. hate them. they make me scream. i make my dogs eat them. ha!

Alex(andra) said...

Yay!! I'm a type a like you... I like to be in control of things... fear is definitely not my friend. I'm crazy scared of tornadoes... shaking like a leaf and everything. It's pretty irrational.. and I'm trying to work on it. Fear is no fun!

I do what I want! said...

I'm also a type A personality and I like to be in control. I used to have a fear of vomiting and passing out. It got so bad to the point where I could barely drive my car without thinking I was going to pass out while driving down the freeway. Somehow I overcame both of those fears and my most recent fear is fear of the unknown. I think I go through stages in the things that I fear. I try not to let it hinder my life but it is really really hard.

Anne said...

Big score for honesty! It's cool that you're working your way through those things you're afraid of.

My big "issue" is insecurity...oh yeah, it's a biggie.

Callie Nicole said...

Great post! It made me smile - good for you for facing your fears!

I used to be afraid of geese, but I've had to walk past enough of them since then that I've kind of gotten over it.

And I don't blame you a bit for being afraid to vomit, because it's no fun at all. It's one of the worse feelings in the world while it's happening, though afterward you tend to feel much better. I threw up probably once a year for the past three years, which is rather weird for me because it had been several years with no throwing up before that. But it just stinks. 'Kay, I'm done.

Holly said...

I love how honest your blog is. :)

Fears? Um...er...Ok so I know I HAVE them, but I don't know that any are so severe that I would faint, feel physically sick, or not sleep for an entire night worrying about.

Callie Nicole: OMG I HATE geese! And magpies! And other big flying birds! If I see one on the side of the road I will cross the street to try to avoid it!

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