Oct. 26, 2017

DO THAT WHICH YOU FEAR THE MOST AND THE DEATH OF FEAR IS CERTAIN.

 

From childhood, my life was founded on fear.  Many of my fears were anchored in people, darkness, snakes, heights, doctors, hospitals, criticism, and-- on and on. Looking back, I’ve learned that fear is simply over-anxious-worry that robs its victim of time, energy, and possibilities.   

In most every case, fears are worries, gone wild. We lie in the darkness of night, fearing, worrying about a break-in, or fire, or some unknown terror that never happens. The next morning, after a night of sleeplessness, we are tired and feeling stupid.

As a teenager, I developed panic attacks.  For someone who has never had a panic attack, it sounds crazy that suddenly, a person can’t control his/her thoughts. For no reason, the body suddenly takes control and issues a “fight or flight” message. The message says you will die if you don’t run, take flight immediately!

A panic attack is difficult to explain but when it happens…a victim has no choice but run away.  Home represents the victim's only security; it's the victim's only safe-haven against panic attacks.   I know…it happened too-many times to me. I’ve had attacks while driving, speaking, singing, even grocery shopping and had no choice but... run.  I’ve had friends who’ve experienced panic attacks on airplanes and, in two cases-- the planes had to make emergency landings.

In my case, I now control my panic attacks through breathing exercises, pleasant surroundings, regular sleep, daily exercise, and by constantly re-enforcing my strength and self-worth.

Not everyone has the option of being alone-- in the wilds of China-- with no means of communication; with total dependence on one’s self. If I panicked, there was no safety-net, no home to run to, no emergency room for medical support. I had no one, absolutel no one,  but me.  The ultimate test was my months-long journey across China's most remote countryside and, it made all the difference. Today, fear no longer has power over my life.

I’m still cautious. I will never consider myself cured.  BUT, as long as I stay healthy, strong, and in-control--- my fears, anxieties, and panics will have a tough time digging their way out of the deep hole-in China-where I buried them.

Sally Miller