Friday, May 7, 2010

Phobias: The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The idea, when I started this blog last July, was to blog routinely. I truly desired to share ideas and my photography, not knowing exactly with whom I would be sharing. Needless to say, my posting frequency has been irregular...that is until Alphabe-Thursday happened for me. It has provided the necessary platform for me, and the fear of a bad grade has kept me on task. Each week I find myself with many desirable options for the appropriate letter. So much so that I am now going to try and post a daily inter-blog that will cover some of those themes that did not make the cut for Alphabe-Thursday (Please know Jenny that I do not expect extra credit). So, the answer to the question of what to post on a more routine basis has been answered.

This first day after Alphabe-"P" I am going to speak a bit about something close to my being...Phobias. Just a seemingly short ten years ago this Spring my physical, mental and emotional well-being began to unravel. There became increasingly more bad days than good, never being able to predict what each new day would bring. I sought help from my internist and a series of of psychologists and counselors...all in an attempt to find out just what was wrong with me. Feeling poorly and not knowing exactly why, led to a cultivation and ebb and flow in and out of a variety of phobic conditions...mostly in, not out. Over these ten years I learned that I have CFIDS (known as Chronic Fatigue), mild Fibromyalgia, Celiac, and a condition that makes me overtly sensitive to things I put in my body from foods to drugs. All of those issues made perhaps more complicated by heart bypass surgery in 2005. The phobias I developed seemed quite normal for what would be expected given this lapse in general well-being. Prior to the Spring of 2000, I had lived a very active life. My work at a world class aquarium involved rigorous collecting, scuba diving, 8-10 hours a day of demanding physical and mental stress. I met all of life's challenges well. That all changed, seemingly overnight. lists over 500 different phobias. Statistics would indicate that many of you that might be reading this blog have one or more of these phobias. I deal with those that involve leaving my house, being in crowded, enclosed spaces, traveling, and social phobias...all to a point where FDRs quote takes on real meaning for me.

I would urge any of you who have a phobia to seek help. Explore the whats and whys of your dilemma. Phobias can be cured. People can learn again to lead a more normal, free from fear life. If this speaks to you, I pray that you find that path which leads to a new, fearless life.

Peace and blessings


  1. Jeff, thank you for sharing this very personal story. I know it must have been hard after being so active to suddenly find yourself ill and with issues you had to find a way to deal with. I found in my early 50's I started having depression and sought help. I am so much better now but I still have to watch myself, take meds and treat me right. I'm sure I have Phobia's...might just have to take a look at that list. Oh yes and I'm glad you will be posting more often... :)
    Your Southern Sister,

  2. What a sincerely poignant post. Bless your heart Mr. C. I have no doubt I have some but I will need to look at the list to find out what they are.

  3. I had a terrible fear of flying which pretty much kept me from going places for a number of years. I flew on occasion, but usually found an excuse not to go. Finally, my parents were getting older and they were in NJ and I was in Texas. My mother also had a fear of flying, so we didn't see each other very often over the years. I had to fly to see them and finally I did a search for fear of flying and found a board on AOL that was run by a pilot who also happened to be a therapist. Eventually, he retired from flying and started his own website. I ended up reading his board for a number of years and bought his course. I actually never spoke to him although I could have since it was included with the course, but by then I was doing a whole lot better. I no longer have the anticipatory anxiety which was actually worse than the actual flying. It hardly bothers me anymore. Just a few butterflies and then I'm OK. If anyone is interested it's

    I also have a terrible fear of wasps and bees. I've never been stung because I run for the hills when I see one.

  4. For a while I had an intermittent phobia in crowded places. I would feel like I was going to pass out standing in check out lines. Or after dinner at a restaurant, when it was normally time to relax with coffee and chat for a while, I always felt like I had to get out of there right away. Now that I have kids, though, I can just talk to my kids in the check out lines and it distracts me. They've also solved my restaurant problem because I never get to go out to eat anymore :/