What Do You Do When You Are Scared? - Is your fear stopping you?
Greetings to all. This topic has been requested in the past but it took a bit of time for me to get to it. I apologize to those that have made the requests. Also, know a couple of friends that have some issues with their own individual fears. Hopefully, this post will give many some further insight into this topic. But first, before you wonder, who the heck is this guy thinking he could talk about fear? so first, I'd like to answer that question. A little about me. As some may know, I am a huge advocate against domestic violence and female abuse. A wrote a book about it titled, "A Woman's Fear." I oftentimes speak at meetings for abused women. Why, because I have seen first hand what they have endured, their fears, and the courage it took for them to overcome them. Everyone hears about domestic violence, but until it is experienced, no one can truly understand the fears these women had and the courage it took to overcome them.
I worked for well over thirty years in the public sector as a career firefighter and licensed paramedic in an inner-city environment where nightly shooting, stabbing, rapes, gang violence, and everything else that goes along with it sits in one bucket. I have been at active shooter scenes, I have cared for patients in the middle of gunfire, gone into a burning building to perform fire suppression or rescue a victim. I've been shot at, stabbed, jumped, beaten up, had thirteen job-related surgeries for injuries incurred while performing my duties, I have saved lives, lost lives, and brought life into this world. I have worked mass disaster scenes, I have seen the most hideous ways a person can die, performed rescues that I look back at afterward I said to myself, "I have to be crazy to be doing this. " I have flirted with my own death more times than I care to remember. One of my injuries was so severe, it took three and a half years to recover from, and I went back for more. I have seen some fellow first responders get divorced, suffer PTSD that would alter their lives forever, commit suicide, become alcoholics, or drug users. All due to the pressures and demands of that type of work along with the emotional as well as the physical effect it has on a person.
Can I talk about fear? You bet your ass I can because any firefighter who tells you they are scared to death before they go into a fully involved fire is lying to you. The only difference is, we have the training and the means to overcome those fears. However, that does not mean they do not exist. Fire is one of the most unpredictable substances out there. You go into a building, or a roof to ventilate the building, never knowing if the roof will collapse, the floor underneath you will collapse, whether the fire will circle back around you. If you get trapped or run out of air, can your team get to you in time to rescue you? You knowingly and willing do this knowing you could die any day of the week, Yes, as a firefighter and paramedic we are highly trained in these areas and how to survive as long as we can. However, I have carried the body of a dead firefighter out of a building that has been burned to death. In 2020 for example, 96 firefighters died in the line of duty. Over 148 police officers died, and I am not even counting the number of EMS workers that died in the line of duty due to accidents, suicides, and Covid-19 related deaths from caring for patients. All in all, that yearly figure is almost equal or exceeds the loss of life in some of our country's smaller wars. Keep in mind, these deaths occur every year. However, I am not taking anything away from the tragic death of any man or woman who serves our country in the military. Every death is tragic. In summary of my introduction, yes, I am well qualified to speak on the subject of fear.
WHY DO WE HAVE FEAR:
As you can see by my introduction, fear comes in many forms. The ones I mentioned are just a few. The real question is, why do we fear things? We have fear because we fear the unknown. Meaning, what will happen? What will the outcome be? This link to:
- is a good article to read.
It is perfectly normal for us to have fear of the unknown. So take comfort in knowing there is nothing wrong with you. The problem comes into play when we allow our fears to control us and through that control, we allow our fears to rule our lives, or decide our future. It is also true that some people need professional help to reach a point where they can face and/or get past their fear. However, based on the requests I have received, and what I know some people I know are going through, I want to talk about a specific type of fear. Not fear such as afraid to go on a roller coaster ride. I am referring to the type of fear that we allow to let alter our lives, or stop us from doing what we really want. In most cases, we aren't talking about the fear of taking out a car loan, specifically, we are talking about fears that are a result of RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS. Did you know that relationship issue fears are the most common fear that people face?
Fear of starting a new relationship, or ending an existing one, or the fear that you may feel stuck in a relationship for financial concerns or fear of the person you are with. These are some of the most traumatic fears, and yes, most of them are faced by women. That's not to say that men do not have these fears, but they are more predominantly felt by women. Mostly because in a divorce, in most cases, the woman faces more of the day-to-day burdens such as children, family members, and finances. With a bit of reason and agreement between the two parties, this fear is oftentimes much easily overcome. With that said, when it comes to the fear of possible physical harm, that fear is much deeper and usually comes with additional complications. However, with all fear, to get past it a person must face it. Rinning and hiding from your fear does not make it go away. What it does do is make a person submissive, increases their level of low self-esteem and self-worth, can cause and leads to anxiety, panic attacks, and a host of other medical conditions, some of which can become life-threatening. It also creates a highly toxic and fearful environment for anyone living under those conditions, except of course for the person causing the fear. That person is usually self-centered, controlling, may have some form of mental disorder, selfish, and only cares about themselves and what they want. As long as they have all of those things, they feel comfortable and in control. But rarely do people change.
I heard so many times. Time and time again, "he said he would change. He did for a while and then went right back to being themselves. Man or woman. In my personal situation a while back, it was a woman. However, men are less tolerable of this and will walk away quicker than a woman will. Did you know that in many cases of abuse, or in this particular situation, generally, a woman will tolerate this seven times before they finally decide to end the relationship or marriage? No matter how anyone chooses to settle, any one person can only take something for so long. The problem with that is, some will leave and end it and face their fear, but sadly, many have hit rock bottom and tried to commit suicide to get themselves out of a situation.
LET'S TALK ABOUT REALITY:
What I am telling you is factual and real. Now the complications set in. In many cases, the person who wants out has a better option than staying in the situation, but fear causes them not to proceed. This is also perfectly normal. After all, when people feel stuck, they reach a mind in their mind where they really are not thinking straight. Remember the above sign. NEVER LET YOUR FEAR DECIDE YOUR FUTURE. However, to not allow that to happen, you must be thinking straight. There are numerous services available to assist and support someone who feels stuck in a situation because they have a fear of someone that they may "FREAK OUT." Do something stupid, or go off the deep end. I will not give an opinion on what I think someone should do. The point of this post is to inform people that there are options. Real options, options that have worked for many, regardless of how trapped you feel. The reality of life is simple. We only get one. We do not get a second chance at it, so if you pass up happiness because of your fear, you are actually wasting valuable time in your life that you will never be able to get back. Also, for every day you spend unhappy and living in fear, is one less day you will be able to spend being happy. As difficult or complicated as people may feel their situation is, there is ALWAYS a solution. I cannot tell you how many women, and men, I have heard say in a group session, "I know now that all the things I thought were excuses so I wouldn't have to face the truth. At the time, they did seem real, but now I see they were only excuses I was telling myself."
When we were all born, no one rushed up to use with a contract that stated life would be easy, choices would be easy, and doing what we knew was best would be easy. At least no one came to me with that agreement. The fact is, life at times is not easy, it is not fair, it is complicated, and our fears control us. Depending on your religious beliefs, or whatever bible you follow, every religious culture talks about fear and the dangers of it. No one here is inventing the wheel. However, this is real. It affects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day. Some will overcome it, far too many will not. However, with all the things and tragedy I have seen in life, along with my own personal experiences which there is no reason to share, it troubles me to see people unhappy due to their own fear, when possibly their future chance for happiness, or present opportunity for happiness is thrown away. In my medical career, I have cared for 76,251 patients. Far too many of those dies while I was trying to save them, and many of them were able to speak before they passed from this life to the next. I have heard the regrets from a dying person, the desperate hope that they wished they had been stronger, I could remember the words like it was yesterday the words from a dying woman from injuries she sustained in a bad car accident, in the back of my ambulance on the way to the hospital, I knew she was going to die before we got there. Her injuries were too severe and she needed a surgeon but her internal bleeding was so bad that if a surgeon were right there, they might not be able to save her. Before she passed out and myself and a fire medic started CPR to try to revive her, she said, "All I wanted to do was be happy."
So yes ladies and gentlemen, life is real, fear is real, and you never know what tomorrow will bring, or if it will even come for you. We deal with everyday fears easily. We fear getting hit by a bus, but we leave the house anyway. An alcoholic or drug user fears dying, but they abuse these substances anyway, yet, people will sacrifice one of the most sacred and important things to have in life because of a fear they feel they cannot handle. They sacrifice happiness.
Yes, this week this blog post was longer, but the topic is important and deserves time. And, I could go on. However, honestly, if this post has not caused those of you that have this fear to think, well I guess maybe I didn't write it well enough. But if I did, and you have begun to think, then you have taken the first step in being happy. I cannot guess, nor will I try to guess what it will take to makes those people in this type of fearful environment happy, because for each person it may be different. However, I can tell you with complete certainty that every situation and every problem has a solution. If that were not true, no life could ever be saved, no fire could ever be put out, no person who strived for happiness and found it would have never found it.
II fully admit that there are days where wish I never witnessed or experienced many of the things I have. But in life, some things are a dirty job but someone has to do it. I thank God each and every day I made for 38 years without losing my mind, sanity, and sense of humanity, but I knew when I had enough and it did make me a better and wiser individual. However, at times, I can't help but think that ignorance is bliss. Meaning, what I never saw and did, I would never know about. At the end of the day, I would do it all over again but I loved helping people, even with all the sadness I saw that could have been avoided by people making the correct choices. Facing their fear, dealing with, being done with it, and move on to be happy. Because as sure as you are that whether tomorrow is cloudy or sunny, above the clouds you know the sun shines, and for each of us, one day it will shine no more. Make your very best life but the difficult choices and complications of any situation come to an end. You must believe that the time spent during those times is small compared to the rest of your life. There is always a key to our happiness, all that is required by us is to place the key in the lock, unlock the door, and take the first step through. So ask yourself, should you really give in to your fears, let them control you and your choices, as well as your life? Something to think about.
Stay safe and be well. Thank you.
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