Have you ever watched a horror movie? ( I haven’t seen one in years and always try to watch the really old ones like the Spiral Staircase, more scare less gore.) And have you ever wondered what the heck that person was thinking? Does anyone in their right mind go down into the basement, where there is no way out, when there is some strange noise coming from down there? Having been faced with numerous opportunities to go down the stairs I will unequivocally say that my preferred option is to wait till daylight and then go armed.
Sometimes life has given me times when the amount of fear I am feeling is equal to the amount of fear that the noise in the basement gives me. And though I love the ostrich approach to handling fear it is not always appropriate. Take writing this blog for instance. I have been dealing with a large amount of fear and panic for the last few weeks. Starting a new phase in my life and feeling totally overwhelmed by it. To the extent that I sit down to write and either I am looking at technical difficulties that only antiquated dial up can provide or I am afraid to let the panic ooze into my writing. In any case I did an ostrich. And hid my head until the panic passed.
Only like the sound in the basement that I am eventually going to have to check on in order to have peace somethings don’t go away on their own. I am finding that facing the panic and just moving with it is helping. Breathing helps a lot. The first day of my new experience I had almost constant panic attacks. But I would surreptitiously begin the relaxing breathing that usually helps clear my head. And it did clear my head. Finally the day was over and I found myself sitting in my car having a whopper of a panic attack. The lovely “iron band around your chest if you try to breathe you might die” kind of panic attack. Drove home did the few things I needed to do and went to bed, watched a lovely safe movie and passed out. Then proceeded to have panic attacks through out the night. Got up and did the whole thing over again.
I hate that fear that the monster in the basement is coming up the stairs for me. The bottom dropping out of your stomach kind of fear. It doesn’t really help me navigate through life very well. It does keep me observant but doesn’t help navigate. I have found that if I were in a movie and that lovely creepy music was playing I would definitely avoid the basement. But in life I don’t get the music and somebody needs to go down the stairs and make sure it is just the cat having kittens or the mice forming a union and taking over the shelves. But breathing and meditating helps. As does talking it over with friends. And nothing says you made it like a comfy warm bed and a good movie at the end of the day.