IT'S TIME FOR AN EARLY SPRING "RERUN."
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 or body. For no reason, you have trouble breathing; your heart begins pounding, feeling like it will jump out of your chest, you sense you're about to faint; you're dizzy and your legs are unsteady. Your body takes control and issues a “fight or flight” command. The message says you will die if you don’t run-- take flight-- immediately!
A panic attack is difficult to explain. Suddenly, when it happens…your body takes complete control, causing you to think you're dying. Immediately, fear tells you to run away or stay there and suffer death.
Home represents the victim's only security; it's the victim's only safe-haven. I know because it happened to me.... too-many times. 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.
Overtime, I learned to control my panic attacks through breathing exercises, pleasant surroundings, less stress, regular sleep, daily exercise, and by constantly re-enforcing my strength and self-worth.
For me, the ultimate test was my months-long journey across China's most remote countryside.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 to "save" me; there was absolutely no one for me...but me.
Today, fear no longer has power over my life but, I’m still cautious. I will never consider myself cured. I know that---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.