Vanilla, Please

15 Responses

  1. Great post on one of life’s great lessons

  2. Fear is such a difficult thing to overcome. I had been extroverted all of my life, always the life of the party, friends with everyone, always up for an adventure. Then when I was 27 I got sick, very sick, it took Dr’s 7 months to figure out what was wrong with me, 7 months to figure out that I just needed to take one little pill everyday to keep me alive, then I got sick again and after a few months added another pill to make my heart beat right, a side effect of the main disease. During the time when I was sick I developed panic attack disorder, I got it bad. I had panic attacks everyday for over a year, therapy and more medication helped them lessen in frequency. My biggest fear was that I was going to die. It took me the better part of 8 years to realize that I am going to die anyway, there is no averting it, it’s going to happen. I just don’t know when. I have a normal life expectancy, but my illness made me afraid to ride on the interstate, fly in a plane, hike where phones don’t work, basically to do anything even remotely risky. My life was ruled by fear. With lots of therapy I was able to overcome my fears and faced every single one of them, I was fine every time. I even hiked this past summer in CA. After my husbands affair disclosure I started having panic attacks again, but for other reasons. It seems like once they are a part of your life they never really go away for good. They are less now but for the first year I battled with them a lot.

    Thanks for posting this. I love a good reminder that we must face our fears in order to live a full life.

    • It’s interesting how much a single experience can program us to respond in a certain way. Kudos to you for working on your fears:) It sounds like you’re doing a great job reprogramming your mind and body to respond in a different way.

  3. It seems the older we get, the more irrational our fears become. Good to be aware as a first step at over-coming. I love your blog! Keep writing.
    Life is good.

  4. sarafoley says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about – I was a shy child too, who hated to pick up the phone and ring anybody, even my best friend. Not so much in primary school, but in highschool. I remember the 16 year old version of your 8 year old tantrum when my mother said that I had to ring the government department and organise my own student payment. Talk to someone i didn’t know on official business? Noooooo! We have good mothers, thank goodness, she persisted and as I have gotten older, people look at me queerly when i saw that i was a very shy child 😉

  5. PostModernSingle says:

    As a kid I refused to talk to waitresses. My dad would always order for me. I remember waitresses looking at me “What can I get for you, sweetie?” and I would instantly look at my dad. It’s a story I tell people to say I’m still an introvert but no longer struggle with shyness. I don’t have any problems with public speaking. BUT maybe I’m not as over my shyness as I like to think. There are still occasions when I feel that irrational terror of not wanting to ask someone for something even though it is perfectly reasonable and even expected. I spent two weeks with a leaking sink before I worked up the courage to call my landlord and ask him to fix it.

    “I learned that I couldn’t expect others to come to my rescue. I learned that I needed to practice being assertive in order to have my needs (okay, wants in this case) met.” – It still requires a bit of kicking and screaming at times but when I realize no one else is going to do it for me, I can usually pick myself up and get through it.

  1. January 15, 2013

    […] Vanilla, Please […]

  2. May 6, 2013

    […] She didn’t always have it easy raising me. I was a willful child, prone to impatience and peppered with perfectionism. Some things don’t change:) She did a great job of adjusting her parenting to fit me rather than trying to get me to fit into some standard mold. I may have the only mom who had to get onto her kid about the importance of NOT doing my homework (I would beg to leave some of those camping trips early so that I could get back to my work)!. She knew that I pushed myself hard enough (or even too hard) and that her usual role was to encourage me to ease up, not to push me further. At the same time, she recognized those situations where I needed some encouragement and she would not let me weasel my way out (Vanilla, Please). […]

  3. August 18, 2014

    […] used to be shy. Painfully so. But that’s a learned response and can be changed. Introversion is a character trait found in […]

  4. March 16, 2019

    […] on the schoolyard or to help me navigate uncomfortable situations. I had to learn to do it myself (I didn’t find it an easy lesson). I had to reach out to have friends accompany me since I had no built-in peer group. Only children […]

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