Mental Health

On Overcoming Fears

On Overcoming Fears | Libero Magazine

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I want to warn you ahead of time that this blog will not be as organized or well-thought through as past blogs, and I don’t expect it to be profound or even inspirational…Basically, it is 1 o’clock in the morning, I am tired and this is bothering me so I want to write it out…maybe someone can relate?

(by the way, I am quite nervous about posting this – after 99 posts of intensely personal content; I find it interesting that this of all blogs is what makes me shaky and question if I should expose myself so much…but I will nonetheless.

Tonight I spent time with a small group of people who get together every week and they have been doing so for I don’t know how long. This was my second time, so I am still the ‘new one’, the one that people turn to and say ‘Have we met?” and who they ask stereotypical questions like “Where are you from?” (which, in my case, requires a very LONG explanation) or “What do you do?” (which, again, is not as straight-forward as say, ‘I waitress’). Why am I saying this? I’m not sure; basically, I’m painting a picture of me being new to a group. New is something I’ve never been good at (or comfortable with). I like old. I like the same. I like expected. I like familiar.

Tonight I was out of my element and that scared me. I met a lot of great people who wanted to get to know me – that scared me too. And I spent time [in a social setting] with some people who I work with – that scared me even more.

1. I don’t like mixing my business and my social life. Why? Because if there is a fall-out between me and someone I work with, then what happens to my work? It’s better to not mix the two.


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2. I don’t like getting to know new people; actually, I’ll rephrase that: I don’t like letting new people get to know me. Why? The answer is cliche, but I have been hurt one too many times. Tonight I was nervous. How much do I tell them? Do I tell them I grew up in Africa? Then they will ask questions. Do I tell them I write a blog? Then they’ll ask me what it’s about. Do I tell them I write on eating disorders? What if they judge me? Or worse, what if they pity me? What if I trust them and they use it against me and try to tear me down? (see blog On Mean Girls).

3. I’m afraid of guys. OK, I’m not afraid of them like a phobia or anything, but I realize I only let them in to a point now…and that point stops around the ‘swap a humorous story’ stage. I often don’t look at guys much anymore (especially in the eyes) either, and as soon as I find a guy really invested in what I am saying, suddenly I shy away. Why? Because I don’t want to become attached. If I feed off of their interest, which then fuels my interest, I am only setting myself up for hurt. I have personally been victim to: violence, verbal abuse, mockery, manipulation, condescension, deceit, explosive temper and – worst of all – situations where it just didn’t work out.

4. I’m afraid of not being in control. Tonight, I was not in control. Those weren’t my people (and by ‘my people’ I don’t mean to say I have an army who I control; what I mean is, around MyPeople I am comfortable because I know what to expect of them and I can be myself). I didn’t know them; they didn’t know me. I had no clue what to expect. Immediately I longed for the comfort of familiarity – I wanted to be at home working. Why is it that at 11pm when I am out with fun people I would rather be at my desk? Well, it’s simple, at work I am in control. Even though I run a fairly casual non-profit, the truth is, I am the boss. Every decision comes down to me. I don’t feel like the shy girl in the corner trying to weigh in with her off-beat sense of humor, hoping people will accept her.

I’m not sure how to overcome these fears, but I do know that, although justified/understandable, they are not healthy or even necessary. I suppose I can use this to ‘reason’ them away.

I really have 2 choices: give in to my fears and let them drive me back to my desk where I can control my world from a pink swivel chair, alone and protected from the world. OR I can overcome them: be friends with my coworkers, don’t panic in unfamiliar territory, and, yes, maybe even look a guy in the eyes.

Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

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The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.

6 Comments

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  • I can really relate to your post and it's great that shared your fears. We know all too well that hiding something (fears, anxiety, ED, behaviors, secrets) only fuels those problems. When you put it all out there it defuses the power we had assigned to it. We have to keep putting ourselves in situations that make us uncomfortable so that we can grow.

    And congrats on your 100th blog entry!!

    • Thanks so much, Sara, and I agree – exposing ourselves to our discomforts/fears only makes us stronger. I'm glad that you can relate 🙂 at least I know I'm not alone! ~Lauren B.

  • I'm glad you DID post Lauren, because I relate to EVERY WORD and am working on the same thing!

    • Dimitra, thanks so much for sharing that you are in the same boat – very encouaraging for me 🙂 Good luck working on those fears!! ~Lauren B.

  • I hear ya! It just happened yesterday. Someone asked what my ANAD wristband was for, and this was the first time I ever told anyone it was for eating disorder awareness. Of course they asked if I had an eating disorder, and while I didn't say I didn't, I said my friend did. Why? I have no idea. I guess I was ashamed? Rationally I know I shouldn't be, it is a disease, something I have gone through, but not ME. Nevertheless, my fear holds me back. And its like this in everything! It sucks :/

    I hope you are having a wonderful memorial day Lauren 🙂

    Scott

    • Hi Scott,
      I totally have had those moments of 'shame' where you pass off your E.D. history & transfer it to a friend – it happens to me most often with guys, though I am trying hard to stop doing this.
      You are SO right though, it is NOT you and never will be you! The same way that it doesn't define me…we just have to keep remembering that 🙂
      Thanks for your support & I hope you had a wonderful holiday. On a side note, I emailed you from my new email address (laurenb@liberonetwork.com ) so if you haven't seen it, check your junk mail box 🙂
      Take Care,
      ~Lauren B.

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The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.

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