First, I have to say, welcome to the first ever For the Love of…! Thanks for the patience of me being MIA. I was gone for a while and I’m trying to get things up and going so bear with me.
Okay, so anyone who has followed me long enough knows that I have quite the colorful anxiety ridden life. I was talking to a friend during the Ladies’ Retreat. On the ride to retreat I was able to share a part of my testimony. As I talked about my fears that cause me extreme anxiety she put things in perspective for me. And so, the first For the Love of was born.
Dictionary.com sites the definition of phobia as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. There are two types of phobias, social and specific. Approximately 3% of the US population suffer from social phobias. Social phobias include things like talking to large crowds or eating in front of people.
Then you have specific phobias. You know the ones: fear of heights, fear of water, fear of flying. Then you have the more oddities like fear of ants, fear of corn, fear of trees. Specific phobias affect about 20% of the population. I am in that 20%.
Anyone with anxiety or has a loved one with anxiety knows that anxiety can be debilitating. Anxiety has been such a mainstay for over half of my life and I’m kinda tired of it. The month of May, I took strides to overcome my acrophobia, to find a way past the anxiety of heights. And, I can’t really say I’ve mastered it. Or that I no longer freak out when I’m higher than my brain says I should be. But, I can tell you this…
Zip-lining isn’t for the faint of heart. But, someone who is fearful of heights can do it. During our ladies’ retreat I got the privilege of flying through the air with some special ladies.
Zip-lining is probably the scariest thing I’ve done prior to Memorial Day in a very, very, very long time. You see, I’ve learned to pay attention to my triggers and stay far, far away from what causes them. I’m proud to say this happened….
To continue the month of conquering my fear of heights I went to Astoria Tower. Now, this isn’t the first time I have gone there. It’s probably like my fourth or fifth. The very first time I got to the first landing and had such a massive panic attack. I vowed to never do it again. Until Memorial Day. Climbing a spiraled staircase is as scary as I thought. And as I made it to the first landing of the tower my heart could feel the blood pumping through my veins.
The higher I climbed the more light headed I became. I was reminded to take deep breaths. I heard everyone cheering me on despite the extreme imbalance of my equilibrium. My head spun. My knees steadily weakened. My heart beat an irregular song, the volume of doubt so loud I was sure I was going to fail. But I continued on. At the top I hugged the column so tightly too afraid to turn around to see the beautiful view.
But when I did..
I didn’t spend much time at the top. Just enough to say I did it. Then with wobbly knees I quickly made it to the bottom, counting every stair until I reached the ground. When I walked out of the door into the outside world I couldn’t hold the tears anymore. I sat on the stairs trying to gain control over what I felt like was going to end my life. But I did it.
Twice. Within weeks of each other. I said no to anxiety, trusted God to keep me safe and jumped. I could drop a whole bunch of different quotes right now about conquering your fear. But, one of my favorite quotes about conquering fear is this:
Your largest fear carries your greatest growth.
It is in May that I finally believe it. Because, it is in May where I decided that fear of heights, of falling, of the unknown wasn’t going to control my life anymore. It wasn’t going to keep me from being the best version of myself that I could possibly be. Action breeds courage, it breeds confidence, it breeds faith in yourself.
And for the love of self, I conquered my phobias. xoxo