Overcoming My Fear Of Bambi , Part II
Fear had its grubby mitts on me and was dragging me systematically, with every anxious, shallow breath, deeper down the rabbit hole.
It replaced my relatively rational mind with that of a caveman being chased by a T-Rex.
I was in constant fight or flight mode, assessing every threat on a scale of one to ten. One being completely benign, a kitten sleeping on a chair, ten being a lumber truck filled with deer barreling toward us. Every moment on the motorcycle felt like a ten.
What the hell had happened to me?
If I had to name the soundtrack playing in my head all day long, it would have been the theme from Jaws and The Shining on an endless loop, ramping up my adrenalin, and whipping my nerves into a frenzy.
Studies have shown the detrimental effects of fear on the human psyche.
I was a textbook case.
Fear affects our thinking and actions.
It made me into a dumbass. My thinking was completely skewed which caused me to act like a huge fraidy cat.
I wanted to turn right, if you can imagine that, on our Left Turn Trip which prompted a stern admonition from my husband. “You’re acting like an idiot. Stop it.”
Fear hinders us from becoming the people we are meant to be.
Where was that carefree, fearless woman who was game for anything and loved seeing the world on the back of a bike? She had ceased to exist, replaced instead by a woman afraid of wildlife. Not lions and tigers and bears (oh my) but freakin’ Bambi.
Fear can drive people to destructive habits. To numb the pain of distress and foreboding, some turn to things like drugs and alcohol for artificial relief.
Yep, I was main lining the wine and chocolate. All concern for healthy living left me. Why bother. I could be killed at any moment so a big, fat, chocolate croissant or a sticky bun for breakfast were just the gateway drugs for a day of self-destructive culinary debauchery.
Fear steals peace and contentment. When we’re always afraid, our life becomes centered on pessimism and gloom.
Peace and contentment were distant memories for me now. I was a frazzled wreak. Being hyper vigilant is exhausting. I couldn’t even take in the beauty of the scenery, it was no longer about the journey, I just wanted to get to the next destination and get the hell off this God forsaken death march…I mean road trip.
Fear creates doubt.
Yes – yes it does, and I think my husband started to doubt my sanity right about then.
This next story is kind of my perfect storm of fear’s behavioral anarchy.
One afternoon around three, we found ourselves entering back into a forested area after being along the coast most of that morning. It was extremely overcast, dark and gloomy, so much so that all vehicles had to use their headlights in the middle of the day.
In other words: summer along the Northwest coast.
Well, that sent me into a terrified tailspin. I could feel every muscle in my body tense up. I tugged at my husband’s arm frantically, which is the Universal sign for “I’ve lost my mind, pull over immediately.”
Now stopped on the side of the highway, I screamed over the traffic whizzing by into his helmet this question, which I’m SURE is on the MENSA qualification exam.
“Its gotten so dark out, do you think the deer think that its dusk? They can’t tell time, maybe they operate from the changes in light? Are they getting ready to start leaping out? Because if they are, I think we should stop riding RIGHT NOW!”
That was it. He’d had enough.
Forcefully grabbing both my shoulders, he looked me square in the eyes and yelled over traffic. “This has GOT TO STOP. I don’t care if you want to drive yourself nuts, but now you’re driving me INSANE.”
“I can’t believe I’m even going to say this: DUSK is DUSK. Get a grip woman.
We’re riding all the way to Cannon Beach today and we may not get there until after dark. DEAL WITH IT. I’m finished indulging your fears.
Yes, it’s true, you may die on the bike. It may be a buck, it may be a lumber truck, it may be because I had a brain aneurism caused by all this nonsense!”
“Nevertheless, I want my old wife back!”
“I want to hear you humming songs and talking sweetly to yourself behind me. I want to feel your light touch on my back, not this horrible death grip you’ve acquired. I want to see joy instead of fear in your eyes.
Most importantly, I want your IQ to return to it’s former level…NOW!”
He chucked my shoulders to punctuate the end of his lecture and to make sure I was still paying attention.
Without another word, we got back on the bike and rode away.
And THAT ladies and gentlemen is how I overcame my fear of bambi, and death.
Do you have that someone that will give it to you straight? Not let you be led by fear? Call them right now and thank them and then tell me about it!
Brave, brave, love ,