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Facing my fears

Learning to overcome my fears meant facing them head on. I've recently have had the opportunity to learn more about my true self. My husband had to make an urgent trip to the UK, leaving me at home alone for the first time. Now I'm not talking about being alone for the first time in our relationship, but for the first time ever in my entire life I would be on my own for a month.

My life has been filled with living with my parents, or with my partner and or children. I briefly lived on my own when I was 15, for three months. Every morning I would wake up and say, “I need a roommate!” That was over 40 years ago, so it has been a very long time!

I knew it was going to be a huge challenge. I knew I was going to have to face my fears. I knew there was no choice, my husband needed to rush back to the UK, and I needed to stay here for my business and to look after our property and cat.

Being alone has never been a strong suit for me. My major fear is night-time, the darkness, the demons within. Sleeping alone and hearing every noise every creak, every crack is alarming. At first, I tried not to think about it, in the lead up to my Husband leaving. I did not want to put this on him. He needed to be able to go away and not worry about me. I needed to be strong and allow him the mental space that he needed to focus on his family.

The first night I spent with my brother and his beautiful family, as we Had a Mother’s Day dinner. My Brother was shocked that I would be alone for four weeks. He encouraged me to stay with him and just drive back to Toodyay every day. He could not envisage me having to be alone for such a long time. He was quite concerned for my wellbeing, which is just lovely to have a brother who is so protective of me. I knew deep in my heart that I needed to face these fears head on. I had run away from these fears my entire life. It was time to stop, take stock of myself, and confront what lurks in the darkness.

For the first couple of nights, I was OK. A little nervous going to bed, but OK, not overly worried. I used Vagus nerve activities to calm my mind. I used energy medicine to soothe and heal my body, allowing me to sleep peacefully. I was off to a good start. This did not last long. The demons came as I knew they would, and it rocked me to my core. I was terrified beyond all imagination. I would freeze, my heart rate would quicken, I was on full alert. I forced myself into being fully awake, too afraid to go back to sleep. Too afraid to move and my fears were running wild. I spent the rest of the night awake, restless, and alert.

The next morning at around 4:00 AM I was up feeling hungover from the lack of sleep, but happy for daylight to arrive. I was teary, missing my husband, and wondering how I was going to cope for the next 4 weeks alone. During the night I had written down how I was feeling, as a means of expelling it from my mind. This is what I wrote:

Fear builds up within me from such minute sounds. Hearing the tiny wind chimes that rarely make a noise ever. Banging against the window. Strange clicking sounds. My heart beats loudly in my chest. I stopped breathing. I feel a lurching sensation inside. Fear. It's ugly, it's threatening, it makes me freeze. Instead of sleep at 7:00 PM due to the fatigue of a long day, I'm here at 10:00 PM awake, too afraid to sleep. The unknown outside haunting me, sending waves of panic rushing through my exhausted body.

My husband called me on my first daily call at 2:00 PM in the afternoon which is 7:00 AM UK time and I couldn't help but cry. I opened my heart to him, not wanting to burden him, but feeling overwhelmed by my sense of dread. My entire safety net had been ripped out from underneath me and I was floundering. My beautiful, ever calm Husband talked me through it. He asked me about each sound. He then gave me the reasonable explanation of each noise. Even down to the position of the wind chimes where it would be impossible for someone to have banged into them accidentally. His wise words helped soothe my anxiety. He made me realise that even when he is there all those sounds exist. My fear of the darkness is still there, just hidden by his protective arms.

I realised that my fear of the darkness is more about the darkness within. The fight between good and evil that is within all of us. To overcome this fear, I needed to confront the darkness within me. It's just like the ocean. It is mesmerising, the smells, the sights, and the brilliant colour. The water that we love to swim in. The ocean soothes our souls. And at the same time darkness looms within. The creatures (read that as Sharks!) that live within the ocean are there all the time, so with beauty comes the darkness. That doesn't mean that I stopped swimming in the ocean, it just means that I have a healthy respect and yes fear of what is within, that I weigh up how much of my mind is going to be focused on the dangers.

I slept soundly that night and woke up relieved, happy, and determined to keep improving each day. This is exactly what happened. Each day my nervousness was lessened. I could rationalise the noises I heard. I had a nightly safety routine, that comforted me and gave me a sense of security, whether this is a false sense, is neither here nor there. I had some good nights, some uneasy nights where sleep didn’t come to me, not from fear, but not doing enough of what makes me shine (another story!). I rectified that once I realised this was the case. Sleep came back soundly.

It is Hubbies first night home tonight. I am feeling a renewed sense of peace and security. Most of all I feel the unconditional love encompassing me from his presence. I am relieved that my fear of the darkness will no longer dominate my day-to-day existence, secure in the knowledge that I have now gained. I trust in myself to provide me with the security I need to function productively on my own and in the darkness. I am proud of myself for facing and overcoming the darkness within.

Now, let's chat about I how dealt with loneliness, hmm, that's another blog haha...

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