Happy Halloween! This time of the year is full of spooktacular decorations and haunting movies. Not to mention, all of your fears come alive. It’s the one time of the year that I love draping everything in cobwebs and littering them with fuzzy plastic spiders. It’s about facing your fears and conquering them. Whether those fears are blood, clowns, spiders… you can get past them.
For years I was deathly afraid of needles. When I was a kid, I would run around the room when the nurse came in the room with vaccines and would try to fight them off. When I was a teenager, I would pass out when getting blood work drawn. In the past two and a half weeks I have had blood work drawn three times and an I.V. once. Thank goodness I have conquered my fear of needles. Want to know my secret? I faced these fears head-on. When I was about eighteen and started having seizures, I had a lot of blood work and I.V.s done. I was terrified, but I got past it. Once I realized that I was slowly getting better at dealing with my fear, I started donating blood with the American Red Cross. The more I faced my fear, the easier it became to deal with needles. This helped me tremendously through nursing school and recently when I have had to deal with needles more frequently. Through my experience in pediatric care and vaccine administration, I have realized that tools such as lidocaine cream and “shot blockers” (plastic with soft spikes on the back that stimulate skin around where the vaccine is administered) only enable the fear. You are strong and you can face this fear without any tricks up your sleeve.
When I was in school, I was also terrified of heights. Even if their were railings or windows, I was scared of seeing the ground below me being so far away. In middle school, I went rappelling on a mountainside. I also took the opportunity to do rock climbing several times throughout the rest of my schooling. When I graduated, I went parasailing in the ocean. Looking out along the coast, I was terrified, but also exhilarated. I was finally facing my fears head-on instead of avoiding them. That was my freeing moment. This is when I no longer was a prisoner to my fears and was instead taking control of my life. Since then, I have hiked up several mountains and seen some of the most beautiful views that I wouldn’t have been able to handle previously.
It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to be spooked by the chainsaws and ghosts that roam in the haunted houses this season. Just don’t let everyday fears prevent you from living your best life.
You can conquer your fears.
I believe in you.