conquering fear.

For the longest time in my life, I let fear control me. I let it take the wheel and drive.   the ride would be easy straight road through the middle of nowhere, other days it felt like this theoretical car had been in a multiple car crash or launched over the edge of a cliff. For years the phrase “there’s nothing to fear but fear itself” drove me mad, how could anyone understand my situation or judge that my fear was illogical. I balanced my life on the theory that facing + overcoming these fears were worse than succumbing to the pitfalls of their detriments.

There’s this book I have been recommended called “Feel The Fear + Do It Anyway!” – it’s gotten great reviews + people at my work practically shove it down residents throats. I never really felt much desire to read it – which is odd, because I love psychology related books, but my dear friend Brie puts it best ‘The title says it all. Why read one-hundred-odd pages of “Even if you think you’ll be fat if you recover, who cares? Feel the fear and do it anyway!” or “You might have been horribly traumatized as a child, and therefore; need your eating disorder to cope. But who cares? Feel the fear and do it anyway!” Or “Why did the chicken cross the road? Who cares? Feel the fear and do it anyway!'”

Throughout my life, I have had to major walls of fear t0 break, that of my people seeing my face + that of overcoming  an eating disorder.

As a normal teenage girl and unfortunately far into my twenties I faced the lovely problem of hormonal imbalances that left my face looking like craters on the moon. So what did I do? Of course! The same thing nearly every self conscious girl does – slather my entire face with about a pound or two of make up. Every day. I swear the only time anyone ever saw my face was the last + first few moments of the day. After years of over the counter remedies + multiple visits with dermatologists, it finally clicked into someones head to inquire + require these three things: 1. What are your eating habits? (Make sure to eat balanced meals with vitamin rich veggies. 2. STOP wearing so much (or any) makeup! {No brainer right??} 3. Breakouts in certain areas of the face indicate different reasons for the breakout. Wow. I was floored. How did no dermatologist ask/tell me about ANY of this – it took me finding an Esthetician to discover how horrible what many of the doctors prescribed was most likely making it worse. I urge any of you that is having acne troubles to drop your doc + see an Esthetician. The fear of allowing people to see my scarred + acne prone greasy skin haunted me + it took me months to get to a point we were I was able to wean myself off of everything but mascara. But it was worth it. Within DAYS of stopping the foundation + concealer – my skin began looking healthier. Each morning it still is a struggle to fight and probably will be for some time – I mean – who wants to feel like everyone is looking directly at the problem areas of your skin??! I sure don’t. My mask of make up had hid me from the world + coming back into it was ridiculously difficult. But I felt the fear, and I conquered it.

In recovery, fear is a majorsetback. The fear of what coping skills you will have when you no longer have ED to hide behind. The fear of what people will think of you – now that’s a kicker that will keep you up at night. The fear of eating “normal”. The fear of being able to go without counting calories. The fear of just being without being an eating disordered individual. Fears that no one should ever have to face. Fear stopped me for along time with making any progress in treatment. I was afraid to get better. Afraid to live a life outside of what had consumed the majority of my adult life. There had been times I had been able to knock it into submission + be “normal” *shudder*. But as soon as something unbearable happened, I would slip back in. I can’t slip any more. I needed a new pair of super traction boots. Every meal, every bite, every calorie was a struggle to take in. To keep it in was a whole ‘nother battle. One still have to fight every day, but I am doing it, and every morning I get up, boot up + fight. Every day, I feel the fear, and each day I work on conquering it.

Will you fight with me?