So a couple of nights ago I was driving on the highway and it was raining. Rain isn’t very new in Humboldt County (where I live). The rain started to pick up and I started to slow down my speed. I then hit this wall of weather. The weather turned into a hail, snow mixture. I lost traction. I spun and watched as the median wall came at me. It was crazy that I could do nothing but watch as I ran into the median wall. It was terrifying. My sweet boyfriend, Christian, was driving behind me and we were on the phone; he saw the whole thing. We got to a semi-safe place on the road and stopped. The hail kept pounding and the tears were streaming. Christian got out, checked on me and the car, and then talked to me on the phone the whole way home. I made it home safe. Thankfully, I was not hurt and my car was drivable.
(disclaimer: I know that it could have been sooooo much worse and I am not trying to come across as insensitive to someone in a similar situation & it has been so much worse.)
As I drove home that night I was, obviously, a mess and was just trying to wrap my head around the fact that it could have been so much worse. I was this mix of trembling fear and breathtaking thankfulness.
I feel like this experience was a great example of what fear can do.
Driving home after the accident was horrible. I was trembling the entire time, my breathing was sporadic, and the tears never stopped. I got home and lost it. I cried and cried and cried and cried. Christian just kept repeating, “you’re safe. You’re safe. You’re safe.” The days that followed were really robotic. I was in a fog of fear. I tried to avoid driving, making excuses that made sense in my head. And I called my parents. Thankfully, everyone in my life kindly pushed me to get behind the wheel again. I was scared. Fear was overwhelming and it controlled me. But I had a choice: partner with the fear or respond do it in bravery.
Fear is crippling. Fear is controlling. Fear is a monster. You cannot partner with fear. It will ruin your life.
I decided to face the road again & to feel every emotion that came with it. Over the next few days I cried a lot, randomly. Every time I passed the spot it happened, I would hold my breath and then the tears would flow again. Or when I would see the damage done to my car & more tears. Or I would think about how lucky I am to be alive and I would have more emotion. I refused to stuff any of the feelings down and instead, embraced them all. I, also, had to do a lot of positive self-talk as I faced the fears of driving.
I, now, have to deal with the consequences of the situation: decide to file a claim or not, get the car fixed, get new tires, etc. I have to watch as my bank account gets smaller and smaller. I have to trust in myself and God, that this is going to work out financially. Every time I think about my finances I feel the anxiety rising. But, again, I will respond to this fear instead of sit in it.
I am facing this fear head on. I am exploring my options financially. I am talking to people that know these situations better than me. I am thankful for the money I do have and the money that is headed my way. I am sacrificing my time, energy, and focus in order to connect with peace, bravery, and love.
As I end this post, I don’t know if I have tips for you on facing fear, but! I can provide you with encouragement that you are not alone. Fear is a liar, killer, and thief. Fear is a sticky mess that pops up in the worst times. Fear does not deserve your time and attention. So, as you face fear (no matter how big or how small) know that you aren’t alone in this bravery. I am fighting fear, too. And I believe that with the help of a companion, anything is possible!
One last thing, facing fear does not have to look big like sky diving. Sometimes, it is just getting out of bed in the morning. Or, eating that day. Sometimes facing fear looks like letting the tears flow. So don’t think you have to move a mountain to call yourself brave.
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear how YOU are being brave these days! Comment below!