CONQUER FEAR. NEVER GIVE FEAR THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONQUER YOU.
"DO THAT WHICH YOU FEAR THE MOST AND THE DEATH OF FEAR IS CERTAIN."
From childhood, my life was founded on fear. My fears were anchored in people, darkness, heights, medications, doctors, hospitals, criticism, and-- on and on. Overtime, I’ve learned that fear is simply out-of-control stress and anxiety that robbed me--the victim-- of hope, time, energy, and possibilities.
In most every case, our fears are extreme anxieties “gone-hog-wild”. Our bodies become paralyzed with fear in night’s darkness—a paralyzing-fear that prepares for a break-in, or a fire, or certain death from our erratic breathing--imminent death from the unknown. Fear--our very-worst fears-- rarely-if-ever----happen. The next morning, after a stressful night of sleeplessness, we wake up so tired and feeling so...stupid.
As a teenager, I developed extreme fears that activated panic attacks. For someone who has never had a panic attack, it sounds crazy that suddenly, your body “turns” on you; attacks you! For no reason the body suddenly allows panic to take control! Your heart pounds/races out of control; you break-out in a heavy sweat; and immediately---your brain issues you a command; a “fight or flight” alarm. The alarm triggers a message that says you will die if you don’t run-away or take flight-immediately!
A panic attack is difficult to explain but when it happens, a victim reacts instantly with no choice but run away. Home represents the victim's only security; home is the victim's only safe-haven.
I know about panic attacks because they happened to me too-many-times. I’ve suffered panic attacks while driving, speaking, singing, even grocery shopping and had no choice but STOP what I was doing and... run. I’ve had friends who’ve experienced panic attacks on airplanes and, in two cases-- the planes had to make emergency landings.
The good news for me: Panic Attacks have been absent from my life for almost forty years and I thank God every day. Although I remain optimistic, I take nothing for granted --regardless of how many years I’ve been panic-free.
Every day is a new day. A Daily Routine is absolutely necessary when you're prone to panic attacks. I start each morning with a series of breathing techniques as well as mental and physical exercise. I've learned to control stress so it doesn’t overwhelm me. I work to provide simple but pleasant surroundings where-ever I go. For decades I’ve trained my body to expect regular sleep and daily exercise as I constantly re-enforce my inner-strength and feelings of self-worth.
Not everyone has the challenge of being alone in the wilds of China, with no means of communication. If I panicked during my Great Wall Journey, there was no safety-net, no home to run to, no emergency room for medical support. If I died...I died alone. There was no one around me... but me.
The Great Wall was my ultimate test and it made all the difference. Today, fear no longer has power over my life.
I’m still cautious...I can never consider myself cured. But, as long as I stay healthy, strong, and in-control--- my fears, anxieties, and panic attacks will have a tough time digging out of that very-deep hole----in China----where I buried them.