I am not simply afraid of snakes, I have a full blown phobia. There is a difference, I am afraid of making bad choices, or losing someone I love, but I still can go on with my normal life. A phobia, on the other hand, is a completely irrational and controlling fear. At one point, this phobia got so bad that I was almost always scared to leave my house, I refused to go in the back yard and wouldn't walk through grass at all. I decided that before I became a shut-in, I needed help. I started therapy and got a lot better. I stopped therapy a while ago, and have noticed that I'm starting to slip a little again.
So, for years I've been wanting to go on an antelope hunt, and this year I drew a tag. I told Sean that I was afraid of the snakes and he assured me that there were none where we were going. So, last week we went and I was having a good time. On the third night we climbed up a bluff with a guide, as we were sitting there looking around he casually mentions that there are rattlesnakes in this area and we should be careful. I was extreamly shaken, but I made it down the bluff and back to the truck. That night I didn't sleep at all and I finally woke Sean up at 12:45 to tell him that I couldn't go back, I just couldn't do it. He calmed me down and told me that it was up to me, he would respect whatever choice I made. I got up in the morning and I climbed that bluff. And then I climbed another the next day. I had a successful hunt and didn't see any snakes, and although I didn't see any I was nearly paralyzed by fear the entire time. But, the difference is that I did it this time, I perserved and I did something so far outside my comfort zone. I didn't let fear control me for once.
Let's be honest, I don't know that I'll ever go back there, but I feel like I accomplished something very personally rewarding. I also started the search for a new therapist, I don't want to spend any more of my life feeling the way I have for so long. I want to walk and expolore freely, and one day I will...
5 days ago