Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm not afraid

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...


Rebekah said...

Did you really take therapy for the snake fear? So curious what that was like?

Bec said...

Oh lord. We could be kindred spirits. My husband does not understand my fear at all. I once worked at a summer camp where the creek was notorious for being infested with snakes and I got put on rafting duty. Oh heck no. We can be therapy for each other ;)