There is a popular quote from columnist Mary Schmich that states, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Do I get bonus points if I do more than one thing that terrifies me to my core?
My day started quite normally. I made it through my normal daily tasks and was ready to move on to my other daily jobs before it was time to go to lunch when I noticed something on my work issued phone.
One new voice mail.
Dammit, I hate phones and phone calls. My fears of social interaction caused my heart to start pounding, but my anxious brain could not let go of what the person who called me needed. I’m not high up on the food chain at my company, so I wasn’t sure what I was needed for. Waiting for a few minutes for the mystery caller to send an email, I decided to check my voice mail just to appease my racing mind.
“Can you call me back?”
It was someone in another department asking for my help on something. Now, I’d like to believe I am a reliable, good worker, but I am not without my own faults. I’m a tad bit terrified of my phone. I’m fine face to face, but phone calls freak me out. Normally, I listen to the voice mail and send an email in response. I’m stronger with words written(typed) than I am when I have to vocalize what I want to say. I choose to act with my strengths instead of my weaknesses.
Instead, I actually called the person back.
I don’t know where I dug this little bit of fearlessness from today, but I decided to be brave. Calling someone back on the telephone may not seem like much for most normal people, but for someone who is socially anxious, it’s like driving through a heavy rainstorm where you cannot see the lines on the road and no one has their headlights on.
Oh wait, I had to do that today as well.
Riding the high of my little self victory, I eagerly ran to my car to start my long holiday weekend. It was humid, but the skies seemed pretty clear. Well, they were until the skies suddenly opened up to a downpour so hard that it was almost a complete whiteout of rain. Sheets of rain poured down to the point where you couldn’t see.
It’s funny. I typically love the rain. I just don’t love it when I have to drive in it.
Normally, a heavy rainstorm is one of the most comforting things to me. I sleep so well with the soundtrack of a thunderstorm singing me to sleep. Rain usually calms my fears down.
Today, my greatest comfort was my biggest fear.
I was on the middle of a highway when the storm hit. It started with a drizzle. Suddenly, it began raining so hard you couldn’t see a foot in front of your face. On top of that, no one thought it was smart to drive with their lights on. I felt my body start to shake from anxious fear and thought I should pull over until I could calm down. Problem was, I couldn’t see where over was. I then made the decision to go slow but to keep going until I could get safely to a parking lot or something like that. I didn’t know when the storm would pass.
Still, I made it home.
Today, I was brave. Instead of giving in to my anxieties and fears, I acknowledged them, but I did not answer them. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fraidy cat more often then not, but today I decided to not given into the temptation of fear.
I did was I was afraid of, and I’m okay.