Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On Fear

First hit the play button and listen to this song while reading the post. Beautiful...







We all have fears. Fear of self, fear of the unknown, fear of spiders, snakes or other creepy crawlies. Fear of public speaking, death, rejection. Fear of loss or love. Fear of water, airplanes, and heights or in my case, fear of needles. Even a fear we don’t think about: grief.

Whatever the fear, no matter how big or small, whether the fear is tangible or mental, it is there. Fear is there.

Fear: [feer] –noun. A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

I think the key phrase is, “whether the threat is real or imagined”. Many people don’t understand my fear. At the mention of shots, IVs needles, I have a fit. I rub my hands together, tense up and sometimes I get light headed. No flu shots for me. I can't give blood. I'm allergic to needles, I promise.

Most people think it’s funny, they don’t understand the psychological fear that comes along with the thought, sight or even the physical application of needles/IVs. But how can they understand, when even I don’t understand my fear?

I can’t remember when the fear started but I do remember the first episode I had regarding needles.

Picture it: Carolina Forest High School 2002. We were having our yearly standardized tests and I was in a classroom with a teacher that I didn’t know. After testing, you are encouraged to bring a book or homework to work on while waiting for everyone else to finish. I brought a book that described in detail the methods of chemotherapy (I wish I could remember the name of the book…it was good).

After reading a few of the graphic lines, I started seeing spots that turned into tunnel vision. I felt very warm and after a few minutes got up and asked the teacher if I could go to the restroom. I made it to the hallway, right outside of the classroom door. I pressed my cheek against the cool, concrete walls. Next thing I know, I’m on the ground and the school’s resource officer was standing over me asking if I had taken any drugs. Drugs? Really? No. I hadn’t taken any drugs. Unless you consider literature a drug.

And may I remind you, I have a tattoo! (I almost passed out while getting tatted...but I didn't pass out...)



The second episode was similar as it happened at school. It was during health class, when the girls and boys separated to talk about safe sex, birth control and the like. It also happened to be the only day that year that I wore a skirt. While the teacher was talking about Depo-Provera and Norplant (implanted birth control methods), I started to get the same tunnel vision. “Seriously Jessica? Again?” I thought.

My mom had told me if it happened again, to put my head between my legs. Yeah…I was really going to do that in the middle of class with a skirt on. Again, I got hot and the next thing I know, I’m on the floor. Again, no drugs.

Another favorite story is when I went to the health department to get my shots for Africa. One of the teenagers who was accompanying us to Africa went in before me. She came out and said, “Oh it’s nothing”.

The nurse calls my name. And since I am a big girl, I asked my mom to come back with me. The nurse took me to an office, with a desk and two chairs. She asked me to sit in one of the chairs. She came back into the room and had the needles with her. I gently commented that she should have me lay down as I would pass out otherwise.

She reluctantly led me back to a room with an examination table. I lay down and the shots were administered and the whole time, tears were streaming down my face. The shots didn’t hurt necessarily, it was the fear that took over my emotions and the tears didn’t stop.  However, I didn’t pass out.

So, I pass out and freak out. The fear is so great that I pass out. I get so freaked out that my body goes into shock and I drop like a fly.

I have tried to process the fear, to think about why I fear something as common and ordinary as getting a shot. I know it doesn’t hurt. I’ve had IVs, shots and have had blood drawn and overall there is little or no pain.

It isn’t the thought of medicine going into my veins. It’s the thought of a needle being in my body. As I type this, my heart is racing and I have the urge to rub my hands so the phantom needle will go away.

What is your fear? How do you cope with it? Do you avoid it completely? Do you face it head on?

8 comments :

  1. Jennifer AckermanJuly 13, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    For many years I really didn't think I had fears....I know that sounds like denial! But in my mind as a believer to have fear meant you didn't have faith. How can faith and fear co-exist? However listening to a sermon this past Sunday (www.fellowshipmemphis.org/media The God of Rest Introduction) I realized that indeed I do have fears. Now for God to push me through them....I believe it will be a long process.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm fear of heights! Even just on a second storey balcony, I feel like it's pulling me and that I'm going to fall.
    Yet I want to go bungee jump and jump out of a plane. Go figure...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm afraid of rejection. It comes from living a lifetime of being rejected by my father. Unfortunately it has caused me to live in a little shell, afraid to make myself vunerable, afraid to reach out to people, afraid to be myself. (Even just admitting this for all to see is kinda freaking me out a little) God has brought me long way, but I still struggle sometimes with my identity. I'm learning to understand my identity in Christ. I'm comforted to know that Christ himself suffered the ultimate rejection, and it encourages me to persevere through my fear.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is so great to hear testimonies of healing from fear. Our God is one of peace and joy. He does not bring on a heart of fear. He comforts and protects and gently guides us to where He wants us to be.
    Thanks Jennifer and Lanaea for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lisl, you should!!!! Im not a fan of stationary heights. So if I am standing over a railing or if I am on a ferris wheel I get a little shaken.
    If I am on a roller coaster going fast, Im okay!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to go do it at the Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Think a mission trip there is in order ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Fears... so many... failure.... being alone in old age... never being good enough.... losing people I love...
    I am grateful I have a Heavenly Father who understands and takes my fears away!

    ReplyDelete
  8. standing up/speaking in front of a crowd...
    being the center of attention...
    introductions to new people...
    never getting married...
    missing God's leading or mishearing His voice...
    being honest about my mistakes and sins...
    being alone in an empty house at night...
    (sometimes, being alone at all...)

    I'm not very good at "coping" with my fears, but I throw them toward God whenever they raise their heads. Not always with thanksgiving, but certainly with lots of supplication. I request Him to give me trust and peace (Phil. 4:6-7). As it so happens, I read another post just after reading this one: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/07/when-you-get-to-the-root-of-some-of-the-fears/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HolyExperience+%28Holy+Experience%29
    "Pride is fear's father and pride is the kin to all cowards."
    "Humility births courage and is brother to the brave."

    ReplyDelete

UA-30960586-1