Growing up I was terrified of dogs. Almost every neighbor of mine had a dog and I remember myself running from every single last one of them. There were times where a dog would not even be running towards me or after me and I would just immediately take off when one was in sight. If any of my childhood friends had dogs I would avoid going to their house. I’m not sure why that fear was so strong but it was one I never thought I could get over.
Although I am not 100% comfortable with big dogs, I am no longer fearful of most dogs. I have actually become more comfortable around them. Especially after I get to know them. If a loved one or close friend has a dog, I take the time to practice being calm and getting to know him/her. Just like people, I try to remember that they have feelings too.
Now that I am older and through that phase of my life, I often like to think about what I am fearful of now. I list things…cross them out. List them again, but then become confused.
My same fear I had with dogs is the same fear I have with change. The terror, constant paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks, all come back around when the subject or action of changed is involved in my life.
Now, when I say change I don’t mean a different nail color or different hairstyle, etc. The small materialistic or non-life threatening things do not matter to me.
Break ups, broken friendships, death, school, finances, self image..the list could go on and on and on. But these are just a few of the things involved with “change” that scare me the most.
Things I cannot control. Things I cannot make better. Things that make me or my loved ones unhappy are what scare me the most. And I feel weird sometimes for saying that “change” is my biggest fear. Especially out loud to other people because of misinterpretations.
But if I could go back to being that little girl only being afraid of big dogs chasing me in neighborhoods, rather than being afraid of the unknown…Things would be a bit different.
What are you afraid of?