My Irrational Fear

Posted: September 12, 2011 at 6:56 am

This post is a pretty serious one. If you’re looking for more light hearted reading this fine Monday morning, check these out from the weekend:

I like to think of myself as a positive person. I trust that God loves, cares, and provides for me. I have faith in His plans. I believe in hope and generally approach life with an optimistic point of view. With the exception of one thing – my irrational fear.

With Peter out of town this weekend, I found myself engulfed by my irrational fear, just as I do anytime he goes away. Anytime he runs late without letting me know. Anytime I get behind the wheel of my car.  Anytime I see some changes in a mole or freckle.

I spent Friday night bawling like a baby at times on the couch while watching NBC’s special on 9/11. The testimonies, especially those of women who had young children and suddenly faced single motherhood, really hit me hard. I get this overwhelming pit in my gut that I will face something similar one day. 

I don’t know why I’m such a pessimist in this way, but for as long as I can remember I have had this almost instinctual feeling that I will one day lose someone very near and dear to me unexpectedly from a bad accident or incurable illness – Peter or one of my kids – or that I will experience one myself and have to leave them behind.

I don’t quite know where this irrational fear comes from, but I can never seem to fully shake it. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s always buried somewhere inside of me to come out when I’m vulnerable. Like when I don’t have Peter around or when hearing other women’s testimonies of such things as 9/11. I just sit there and think “could I ever survive something like that?”.

I know those thoughts and worries are nothing compared to the heartache others go through in reality (not just inside their nightmares), but I needed to share the emotional mess I felt this weekend. I guess I know how much pain life can bring as I felt it in previous parts of my life. I almost wonder how things can be so good now….and how it could possibly last forever. 

I don’t quite know where I’m going with this post. I know it’s pretty depressing and I apologize for laying it on all of you. But if there is one thing I do, it is write what is on my heart and my irrational fear weighed on me a lot this weekend.

And because optimism is what I try to do, I can at least see some good coming from this deep gut feeling I can’t seem to shake – It makes me pray for my family’s safety and health every day. It makes me cherish the time I have with them because we truly never know how long it may last. And it helps me know that I don’t have control over everything, only He does…and even when we don’t understand, His control is for the greater good.

  • Do you have any irrational fears or worries?
  • How do you vent the things you feel you HAVE to get out of your thoughts? Obviously I blog mine out. I promise to be back with my more upbeat attitude later!

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92 Comments to “My Irrational Fear”
  1. Hilary says:

    Dont apologize…it’s good to blog it out! I would say, after 3 minor incidents, I have an irrational fear of being in a car accident,….I can never ever forget that terrible feeling.

  2. Jen says:

    I have a very similar fear, but I avoid talking about it much for fear it will come true. Whenever I can’t reach my husband my mind goes to “that” place, and it gets me all thinking worst case scenario and usually begin to cry….I honestly can’t picture my life without him. As for our future kids, I get them same way….so don’t apologize many of us feel this way

  3. [...] more than diet and workouts. Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginNow that I have gotten all the sad talk out of my system, let’s get back to the more normal tune of things around here. Thank you for [...]

  4. I definitely know what you mean. Don’t be hard on yourself for worrying about it. I think we all do to some extent. I am terrified of something happening to people in my life after losing an uncle a few years ago.

  5. Alex says:

    I just wanted to let you know this blog post really comforted me. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person who feels like this!
    I try to remember that loving people so much that I’m afraid to lose them means I am incredibly blessed. How lucky am I that God gave me these incredible people?
    It gets hard sometimes and I just want to shelter the people I care about most from anything and everything.
    I think all we CAN do is pray for strength and understanding!

  6. Aw Tina, I so feel for you on this one. I think it’s an irrational fear that we all have on some level. After my Mum died I beat myself up endlessly wondering whether on some intuitive level I almost forced it into happening because I’d always worried/dreamt/imagined scenarios about it. I know that’s not technically possible…but it was something that had always been going around my head.
    But after living through it (and yes, you do just live through it, even if the worst happens), I realised that it just stems from loving someone so damn much – and that’s never a bad thing. Like you say, your fear makes you pray for the people you care about the most, and it shakes you out of taking them for granted. We’re all guilty of slipping into a routine, but when fears like this present themselves, we appreciate what matters most again.
    I’m sending you big hugs, and thanks for sharing something that I think we all worry about to some extent. It’s nice to hear that others have these thoughts going around their heads as well!

    • Tina says:

      And I’m sending you big hugs in return. I can’t imagine how that felt to live through yet I know you did it with such grace and love. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  7. Ela says:

    Yes. This kind of thing or similar could easily take over my whole life. It’s very closely allied to self-loathing, not trusting myself and hating my body.

    I think taking a time-out and just watching the angst seems to be a good way to get some distance from it.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  8. You are so strong to do this post, Tina. Really. If we are taking a positive spin on this, I think your irrational belief/fear could be because of the LOVE you have for your family. This is a good thing. The fear of the unknown can be quite heavy, and maybe you just needed to think about it, reflect, and see what it means to you and your future. While there is nothing we can do, you are right on to cherish each moment together :-) I’ll say a prayer for some inner peace for you today.
    xoxo

  9. laura says:

    thank you for being honest about it and bring light to the fear.
    I do have irrational fears and I thought I was the only one who thought that way. It helped me to realize a few things: other people have irrational fears too. The other part is that by taking the action of living life and walking through the fear. I get to see that I am by just being defying my fear and living.

    I know this is a complete extreme case of walking through a fear but a good lesson I learned. I am completely afraid to be vulnerable among others, especially when it comes to my body. Most of my life I thought I was too fat to be in the community. Irrational YES but true. Pretty much for most of the past decade I spent hiding. I was waiting for things to be fixed and to be ready to emerge. Somehow my faith and being able to build a support system in place, I was able to walk through the fear by taking baby steps here and there. One of the crazy things is that I now look at my fear head on and this week I am actually going to perform in a burlesque show. I invited my friends, family, everyone. Despite my fear telling me oh my gosh I will scar others at the sight of me. The reality is that it will probably be quite the opposite.

    • Tina says:

      Fear can be so debilitating. I’m glad you are taking steps to overcome fear that has held you back. I need to do the same with mine. :)

  10. Brenda says:

    I admire your willingness to share your innermost thoughts because it helps us all identify and realize that we are not the only ones who feel that way! I feel normal!

    I too throughout my life have had the same fears, but I don’t know if I’ve ever openly acknowledged them as you just did. It’s like tucked in the back of my brain and I am constantly shaking it off…like if I don’t think about it, it won’t happen.

    I just recently cut back at work which now allows me more time to do the things I believe God has called me to do..mainly be a loving and supportive wife and take care of my home! So what showed up? Fear. Fear that says, “you won’t always have this you know. You won’t always have a husband, someday you’ll have to do more…yada, yada.”

    Another one I have is ‘why bother losing weight. I’ll probably lose it and then find out I’m dying.’ I’ve had that one my whole adult life. Hmmm…maybe that’s why I’m still working towards a healthy weight?

    But, I guess we just soak up every second we have with our loved ones, and at the same time trust (like you already do) that God will take care of us and knows just how much we can bear. He is the Good Shepherd and loves us more than we know. And when these fears show up, we ask Him for the strength to cast them over to Him. “Cast all your cares upon Him for he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7

    Thank You and what a great opportunity for us all…when these fears come upon us, we can use it as a prompt to pray for other women who are probably bound up with the same fears. I’ll be praying for you.

    <3

  11. I live in an odd mix of, “what will be will be” & if it’s meant to happen, that’s how my life is supposed to be, and preparing for the worst. I have a very vivid imagination, so I have worked through a variety of tragic scenarios in my head – probably worse than would ever *knock on wood* come my way.
    I use blogging as my outlet – I’m not one to sugar coat my day, or say how fantastic things are if I’m not feeling it. I never really assume that ANYONE is reading my blog (even if I do see the page views). I’m an open book & will tell it like it is… for good or for bad…

  12. Julia says:

    Oh lady. I can relate so much to the feelings you are talking about.
    With Tyler in China, we don’t get to talk everyday and I try to avoid going to that crazy place, but sometimes it just happens and I find myself bowling at TV dramas.
    Keeping busy is my number 1 strategy for not worrying about him constantly. And an occasional comfort food treat seems to help a little too, but not really.
    Thanks for sharing, I think a lot of us can relate.

  13. Sarah says:

    I think it’s actually quite a normal and rational human feeling to fear death. Be it close loved ones or ourselves.

    It’s more what we do with those thoughts that is important and how much of our attention and energy we give them.

    I’m sure you already do, but please live for now. Not for some undecided and indeterminate future. You don’t want to miss any moments with your beautiful family:)

  14. I can relate. I try not to worry, but sometimes it’s so hard not to. Prayer helps. Imagining myself dealing with the worst case scenario helps too. As long as my mind has gone to the dark side through fear and worry, I might as well visualize myself surviving and dealing with it. Or if there is something that I can actually do about my fear/worry, that helps too.

  15. Amy says:

    I was just talking about this fear with my good friend… She has had the fear of people she loves dying for as long as I can remember. It is a pretty debilitating fear for her sometimes, and I know she really struggles with it. She recently had a baby and was telling me that she couldn’t wait to start back at work because she found herself dealing with fear a lot more, since she was home daily with the baby. I guess it saddens me because I wish there was something I could do to ease her fear and pain .. but I know there isn’t.

  16. I love this post because it’s comforting to feel that I’m not alone in feeling this way. I’ve had many many moments of feeling exactly what you described and we must have had ESP because I was feeling the same way this past weekend. Sometimes when the hubby is away on a trip, like this past weekend, I have those horrible feelings that something bad will happen. Either a car/plane accident, or something else. I hate having these thoughts because I’m afraid that thinking them will make them come true…just typing that made me nauseous.

    The older I get the more of a worrier I become and have been having this huge fear of death…I guess it’s because life right now is just so good, and with all our amazing future plans that we have, I just can’t imagine (though at the same time I do!) something awful happening and it ruin how great our lives are right now…but like what you said, what helps me get through it is that what happens is in God hands and “His control is for the greater good”

  17. Sarah says:

    This is a very interesting post and it got me thinking. I feel like in my 25 years, I’ve witnessed a lot tragedy up close. I knew people at the Pentagon on 9/11, then being forced inside for over a month during the sniper shootings, and finally having a crazy gunman shoot up my campus and kill one of my sorority sisters. And there have been times when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the evil that can be found in some humans. But what I always remember is the strength and unity that emerges after a tragedy. I think April 16, 2007 was one of the worst days of my life but it’s one that allowed me to grow into the person I am. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone but it taught me that I am stronger (as are you) than I thought I was. I also learned how precious life is and that wasting those moments on fighting, hating my body, etc is just a waste of the gift of life. I still have fears but just don’t let them dictate my life. Like you stated “It’s in God’s control” and all we can do is leave it in His hands. Take the time now to enjoy your life and loved ones without letting fear overtake you because that’s when the Devil wins! Mucho hugs and kisses!!

  18. You’re not the only one who has this fear! I bawled my eyes out all weekend watching all of the 9/11 specials. I’m always scared that the last time I talk to someone it’ll be the last time. Once I forgot to tell my grandma I loved her and hung up after she said she loved me, so I immediately called her back to tell her I loved her. All you can do is just live in the moment and appreciate your loved ones while you’re with them :)

  19. Can I just say I’m so glad you wrote about this today! I unfortunately can relate very well to this. I am a constant worrier and have to keep myself busy in order to live a normal life. Working out also helps ease my anxiety quite a bit. I feel great knowing that you and so many of your readers have the same issue. I hope you feel better too :-) Love ya girl!

  20. Oh Tina, I cam completely relate to this. I know mine stems from when my high school boyfriend died instantly in a car accident, though. It was such a tramautic experience, and even with lots of counseling, it still haunts me to this day. I always fear losing current loved ones. Especially when my boyfriend goes away on trips.

    • Tina says:

      Oh my goodness! I bet that would leave a lasting impact and make you nervous about things like that happening now. Sorry you had to go through that. :(

  21. [...] My Irrational Fear [...]

  22. rachel says:

    Love your blog. Keep up the good work!

  23. [...] More Personal Thoughts/Emotions (My Irrational Fear or updating you all on my mom – who is great right now by the [...]

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