Since starting this blog I have begun sharing some of my journey with anxiety and Selective Mutism. But I haven’t shared much of my experience with fear in general.
I have dealt with fear for as long as I can remember. From struggling with Selective Mutism since very early in childhood, I also remember dealing with and having other fears while growing up. I think that a large part of the reason that I struggled with so much fear as a child was because of my struggle with anxiety. In many cases and for many people fear and anxiety doesn’t limit itself to just one area. Some fears that I faced as a child have stemmed from my struggle with Selective Mutism, while some fears have been caused because of other reasons.
The following are just some fears that I personally remember having as a child:
- Fear of hand dryers
- Fear of insects
- Fear of dogs
- Fear of clowns
- Fear of being locked in a bathroom
Most of the fears on this list. I managed to work through as a child. Facing them showed me that they weren’t as scary as I thought, and over time these fears lessened. I have watched myself overcome a lot over the years.
“Fears lose power when you face them.” – Natural Life
When I look back at my own journey, I can see that this quote has been very true for me.
But despite overcoming many of these fears in the childhood years, I still struggled and dealt with fearful thoughts. Growing up I have also on some occasions been afraid when I have seen or heard something on the news, or when I have watched a tv show or movie. I have also struggled with fear of things happening in the world in general, and have sometimes been very aware or cautious when leaving the house to go to public places, etc.
I would say that fear still controlled a great part of my life until the late mid teen years. It has been very tough at times to deal with so much fear and anxiety. But I can say now that I’m no longer constantly afraid of every single little thing. It actually wasn’t until quite recently though that I personally noticed this change. This really was a great realisation for me. I also noticed that I felt a bit more freer and at ease.
When talking about anxiety, depression, fear, etc, and even physical pain, many people think that something life changing has to happen, or that God has to heal you in a specific way for it to be a testimony. I think that this is important to mention because this isn’t always true, and I want to encourage you that your story and testimony is still worth telling. This has not been my story. God is in the mundane moments of our lives too. He wants to be a part of our everyday life, and not just on a Sunday. I have had a lot of personal growth over the past few years, and I think that this has been a huge change for me in certain parts of my life. It was around this time I think when I began to feel less and less afraid. When I noticed this change, I felt that it was time to share a bit more about my experience with fear, to encourage others who may be walking through a similar journey.
Fear is something that everyone will feel from time to time. It is a natural human response. But there is quite a difference between feeling afraid when faced by a real threat, and letting the emotion of fear dictate our lives.
I’m not saying that I am completely free from fear. Anxiety and Selective Mutism still affects a large part of my life. I also still deal with certain phobias. Fearful thoughts will still creep in at times. But I am much more aware of those thoughts and feelings, and can recognise more easily now that these are just fears. The main difference that I have noticed is that I’m no longer bound by fear.