Table of Contents
Brief overview of my monster, fear
Life is full of many “monsters” and one of the greatest monsters I have encountered in my life is fear. Fear is one of the greatest emotions that I have had conflict with in my entire life. I have been fearful of so many issues in my life that I have been rendered helpless so many times. I fear that I may not handle life as I expect to, I fear the struggles I may be forced to deal with in the course of my career, I have fear of my own health, and that of my family and though I try to hide it, it manifests itself openly on my face.
I have also tried many other alternatives that help me handle my fear like taking cold water, but the monster gets real every day. I have never had the courage to share it to anyone, maybe the more reason the monster refuses to leave my side even if I try denying it. I have always tried to apply the famous quite by Roosevelt on, “we have nothing to fear but fear itself” as highlighted in the work of Krull (2009) but the fear has always overtaken my strength. I always wonder how fear interacts with itself and I lack answers. It is for this reason that I have been stuck in the same position for a long time.
Why the monster, fear?
I chose fear as my monster because I have had very many doses of it. Preparing to make a speech and presenting it to hundreds of people is a task that calls for confidence. Confidence in this context would help me do a good presentation as well as choose the rights words at the right time. Though I was willing to do a perfect presentation on The Importance of Gender Equality in the 21st Century, monster fear stole my confidence, hence no potential positive benefits that paid off from my presentation. I looked like a zombie on stage, and no one could even make out what I attempted to say that fateful day. I got on stage, well dressed with my bottle of ice cold water that has helped me handle fear for a while, took the microphone but said nothing sensible. I can only remember introducing myself, and the topic I would speak on, but nothing much came from my presentation. My audience that involved stakeholders from different fields were very disappointed especially when they asked me question on various conventions that are gender related and I had no answers. For instance, I could barely answer on the meaning of the CEDAW convention, yet I was about to make a speech on gender equality. Worse still, my school had selected me as the representative from the Department of Gender that would make a speech that would otherwise have our class sponsored to do a course on the subject. It was not only a disappointment to me, but also to my classmates and school at large.
I have never shared this fear with anyone, even with my mother, who has always had confidence in me. It is disappointing that people will always tell me simple statements like “breath in and out before a speech and everything will be fine”, yet it does not apply to my situation. Others assume that since I am a bright person, I can handle everything that comes my way. I believe that fear of the uncertain is a monster that is consuming me each day. I am left with no option in this life, but to get frustrated every other day. I have sought advice in informal ways such as taking advices from my friends who have made in life, but the difference is that my situation is unique, and I can hardly find someone who can help me kill my monster.
Over time, my monster has evolved to the worst. I have been locked in this fear for so long that I can barely get out of it. I am unable to sit full exams for fear of the unknown. I feel like I am depressed and getting out of my mind by the day. I do not have confidence to make any decision and stick to it like I used to before. My trust is slowly diminishing as I seem not have faith in anyone even my own family. I am even skeptical on whether I can manage interviews. I even fear that if I am hired, I will face a layoff in the first week of employment. I keep holding my breath on everything that I do, because I do not have the confidence that I will open any doors of success in my lifetime. I am hoping that I may get access to sensible help at one point in my life.
What is fear?
As seen in the research conducted by Native Remedies (2017), fear has been described as an emotion in beings, and is a response to impending danger. This is to mean that when someone experiences feelings of fear, their brain makes the body present responses to fear. Chemicals such as adrenaline are released into the human body, which in turn release the stress hormone that cause the individual to present attributes such as increased heartbeat, increased sweating, constant jerking, dilation of pupils and even high blood pressure. Krull (2009) explains that a good number of individuals that have presented such attributes have often been struck by a disaster. The author indicates that this kind of fear may be caused by many things such as previous instances of stress and trauma. Others may generally fear what is around them such as heights, water, exams, and mirrors amongst others. Though there are many instances that may emanate from positive stress, there are some forms of stress that cripple human beings and one may not. It is in this line of thought that Native Remedies (2017) highlights the importance of handling fear, as many people end up having fear to an extent it becomes maladaptive especially when they deal with anxiety, phobia, and other panic attacks. Such individuals can barely accept the assurance that they have nothing to fear about. In the long run, the fear negatively impacts their healthy development. Native Remedies (2017) explains that this kind of fear may actually predispose an individual to major problems in their later life. Though fear resonates differently with age, there is a dire need to act against such feelings before they worsen and end up being irreparable.
How fear works?
Fear works through the brain reacting to traumatic stimulus in an unpleasant way. Native Remedies (2017) describes that fear results from a stress reaction by the brain. The brain then ends up releasing chemicals that cause an increase in the heartbeat, accelerated breathing and flexed muscles. Through the brain that has billions of nerve cells, many senses are interlinked towards causing a reaction that leads to an individual thinking or acting in a way that results to fear (Layton, 2017). At times the brain may cause autonomic responses to mean that the individual cannot control the emotions triggered by the brain.
Some of the brain parts affected include the thalamus that determines the message sent to the eyes, mouth, skin and ears. Another is the sensory cortex and the hippocampus that interpret sensory information and retrieves conscious recollections respectively (Native Remedies, 2017). The amygdala interprets information while the hypothalamus determines fight or flight reaction by the individual. However, this response starts with a scary stimulus and end up with reactions of flight or fight (Native Remedies, 2017).
My monster of fear works through many responses being sent to me especially ones that confirm to me that I am failure and my efforts to be successful will never bear fruit. My monster creates the image of being swallowed by a large object which confines me into a shell that I cannot break from. This explains why I cannot give a simple speech that I have prepared for a very long time. I can also not perform in an exam that is so simple that a young child can do well. This fear actually began when I had a dream being mocked by a large group of people when I was making a presentation on why I need to be given a scholarship to study matters on Gender. Among the multitude of people that was in the crowd was my paternal aunt who I thought would support me all the way. I later came to learn (or maybe I have been assuming) that she did not care for my feelings, especially when I failed in many projects that I attempted to invest in. This monster appeal to the people around me through invoking sympathy from them. For instance, fear uses pathos to arouse feelings of pity from my family members who feel helpless regarding my condition. My mother is the most affected since she can barely understand the transition that my life has taken since I was a brave person to the confused that I am today. They have made attempts to speak to me and encourage my efforts but no positive outcome has been recorded.
We can do it today.
Monster change, and why?
Besides my family members being stressed about my condition especially my mother, I have also been seeking ways on getting back to my original self. I am proud to access internet that has linked me to online sites that help me deal with my monster of fear. First through t online sites, I found a therapist who taught me on the first step to handling fear is through avoiding instances that may cause fear. I have learnt that when I avoid fear I am able to move forward and overcome the past traumatic influences. The therapist has taught me how to come up with meditation techniques that help me analyses situations that were not pleasant to me and in turn move forward.
Through my therapist, I have learnt the art of promoting positivity. This in line with Scott (2010) and Ulmer (2017) who indicate that through positivity, there are high chances that negative events will not be memorable. I work towards noticing what is constructive in my life and generally feeling joyous. I appreciate everything that is around me and count it as a blessing and privilege. I sometimes find humor in my past failures and even laugh at how foolish I was not to handle the strains that I was put through in the past. I now know the difference between the things that I can change, and I am able to accept the things I cannot change.
Scott (2010) highlights that time alone is fundamental in helping individuals handle fear in their lives. I have learnt how to go for walks every evening as way of therapy. I sometimes accompany my family members in these walks, and I am able to speak out my fears without being judged. I feel that these walks have helped me connect with my emotions. I feel less tensioned, my pressure is settled and I love my image generally. Simply put, these walks have produced many restorative effects that I could never imagine.
On another note, Ulmer (2017) explains that fear in life can be handled through working towards identifying meaning and purpose in one’s life. I have sought to continually find meaning and the purpose for which I was born. I do not wait to get confirmation from anyone who has ill motives about my success. I have learnt to believe in myself and even work towards boosting my pluses like my ability to think fast and courage to do things that most people cannot do, like going on risky expeditions. I have managed to attend several seminars that work towards boosting an individual’s self-esteem. I also have personal journals where I indicate the far I have gone towards eliminating fear in my life.
I also acknowledge the help I have gotten from my peers and other like-minded people who have walked with me in this life. We have challenged fear together, and are now doing the best to life each other form our low moments. Last week I was able to make a speech in my community group, and I did not believe an hour would go by without panicking and having weird feelings on how bad I would fail in that speech session. I hope for the best, and I believe I will reclaim my lost glory.
with any paper
From the essay, fear is an emotion that arises from one’s mental status. The brain produces hormones that lead to an individual being subjected to fear of things that are around them such as heights, exams, water and rejection amongst others. However, with help it is possible to handle such adverse emotions. Indivaduals can seek to find meanings of their lives and what is around them; they can also seek professional help like counseling that gives them a chance to openly air what they feel about their conditions. In addition, through quiet time like evening walks come in handy in helping individuals that deal with the monster of fear to accept their condition and adopting measures that minimize the chances of subjecting them to stress.
- Krull, E. (2009). Fear Is a Hungry Monster. Psych Central.
- Layton, J. (2017). How Fear Works.
- Native Remedies (2017). Fear.
- Scott, S. (2010). How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times. NY: Two Harbors Press.
- Ulmer, K. (2017). The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead. NY: HarperCollins.