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Irrational Fear

This post was most recently updated on March 26th, 2014

 

Irrational FearFor most of you who know me, you also know that I am on a constant quest to improve my mind/body/spirit.  I want to address the issue of fear, a thought we often have that could tear us down or lift us up.

 

There are so many ways we encounter fear.  Some are “normal” fight or flight experiences we have when facing any kind of apparent danger.  Some fears are just that, and don’t step in the way of our lifestyle.  In fact, they help protect us from danger and pain. 

But then there is Irrational Fear, a feeling that can stop you from living your normal, daily life.  This can be a fear so strong, it effects not only your mind, but your entire body.  It is considered Irrational Fear when it occurs without any apparent real danger.

I want to illustrate an example of how I personally overcame one such fear that used to paralyze me.  I want to share it with you because it was a long journey until I found a solution freed me from this anxiety and fear.

 

My Story:

 

When I was a kid, I just loved to watch lightning storms.  I would sit in the entrance way in our home with my dad and watch the spectacular show mother nature would give us.  I was never afraid of lightning and thunder. 

Then, while on vacation at the Jersey Shore, there was a magnificent storm.  Dad and I sat in a screened-in porch at the resort to watch.  We had a birds eye view of the violent ocean crashing and the lightning hitting the water.

 

Then Boom….. The building was hit by lightning.  I flew across the porch one way and dad went in the opposite direction.  All the adults were screaming, but I pleaded “Do it again…Do it again!”  It was so awesome to me as an eight year old child to be blown out of my chair and land on my butt several feet away.  Dad kept calm and told me not to listen to the adults that were afraid.  I felt safe!

 

Years went by and I remember working in New York City on the 23rd floor of a building.  Wow, when there was a storm there I enjoyed watching those lightning bolts smash into the buildings as my co-workers huddled in a corner.  I felt safe!

 

Then came the day that I was 6 moths pregnant.  It happened in my first home.  My husband at that time, and I, were busy arranging our new house.  Then came an electric storm.  Surprisingly, I found myself huddling under the dining room table.  My body was in full fear mode.  Palms sweating, I was shaking and in full panic mode.  All the while thinking to myself  “What a fool I must look like under this table.”   But I did not feel safe!

 

Now I have some suspicion why this happened.  It could have been because I was in protective mode carrying a child.  It could have been because my husband (ex-husband now) was an abusive person.  I thought it could be a transference mechanism, taking the fear of my husband’s abuse and transposing it onto a natural event that most people would fear anyway. 

Whatever the case, my fear did not go away.  It lasted many years.  Rather than enjoying the spectacle of a summer storm, I would find myself in the basement at the slightest sound of thunder, or the flash of lightning.  My body would go into severe panic and sometimes I would become physically ill.

I tried therapy, I tried hypnosis, but to no avail. 

I couldn’t go out if there was a chance of a storm.  I closed all the windows and unplugged everything when a storm was approaching.  I even went to the lengths of setting up a “safe place” in the basement with a battery-powered radio and lantern because I was so afraid of using electricity during a storm.

I just couldn’t take it any longer.  

This was one thing in my life that kept holding me back.  Fear and I do not mix well. I was so angry at myself that I had to go on a quest to finally end it.

 

It was not until I went for EMDR sessions that I broke through this irrational fear!  My therapist used a rapid eye movement technique.  It was accompanied by suggestions of overcoming that horrible intensified fear.  I was armed with “catch phrases” to reinforce my new state of mind. 

I still practice my “catch phrases” whenever I encounter a lightning storm.  But now it does not paralyze me.  It no longer interferes with my life in the same way.

Now, I can lead a normal lifestyle even if there is a chance of a storm in my area.  Now I can practice the technique I have learned to reinforce it by breathing and repeated my catch phrases.  Now I am FREE!

 

In my next post I will explain the process of EMDR and how well it works on many people.

 

So, do you have an irrational fear?  One that stops you in the tracks of your daily living?  Or is it fear of success, speaking in public, or even writing a blog post?

I invite you to share your thoughts and feelings about this.

Many Blessings,

-Donna

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_16511320_cartoon-character-in-a-panic-attack.html’>yeletkeshet / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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53 Responses to Irrational Fear

  1. Sue Bride
    Twitter:
    November 23, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    The protective instincts of pregnancy are strong and having seen first hand the power of lightening I can see why this could happen.

    I was not frightened of storms when young but there was a deep hole in the padding on one of our old but comfy armchairs and it terrified me. I had no idea why it scared me. Similar dark holes affected me the same 🙂

    The only time that a storm has frightened me was one night when I was staying in a wooden cabin in the middle of nowhere. My husband and friends had gone off into town while I stayed with my two young children. We lost power, the thunder shook every bit of the building and its contents rattled. The lightening was horrendous. I had no phone or car. The children woke up and while shaking internally I put on a brave face and made out it was really exciting.

    I sometimes wonder if this was what prompted my daughter to want to become a storm chaser. I think she would still do it if she got the chance. Instead she studied meteorology and works in this field and travels to all sorts of remote places.

    On the opposite scale I took my two boys out on a small boat in what looked like calm water. It turned out not to be and as we rocked and rolled and waves splashing over the sides I could not help but let my fear show. My older son was reassuring me and thought it was fun but I have not been able to get my youngest near anything but a large ferry since.

    I used to suffer from low level generalized anxiety which at one point, about 15 years ago, became extreme. The right medication and cognitive therapy changed my life. I wish I had taken action much sooner but I do not believe in regrets as all we have is today and the future. Without anxiety these are bright.

    My son suffers from a disability for which I am a carrier. Anxiety is a result of chemical imbalance in both of us. It is not so easy to solve in his case and although we have worked out strategies to minimize it I am always looking for new ideas to help him. Thank you for introducing us to EMDR, which I am now going off to study.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Help My Blog Content Is Being CopiedMy Profile

  2. Viola Tam September 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I am glad that I am here. This is such a great message. I am sorry to hear that initially not even therapy or hypnosis had been helpful for you. It is wonderful to know that EMDR works!Fascinating!

    Coming from a place where I have not experienced any major storms in life, it is difficult for me to imagine how life must be hard for you during those years crippled with fear! I am so pleased to know that you are FREE now!

    FREEDOM is something that is hard to explain. A stay-at-home mum bringing in no family income may think that she is free. Yet, she may not have the luxury of a free speech when it comes to major financial decisions for the family. Is she able to send her child to a private school that would cost half of her husband’s salary? What about going for the vacation that she has always wanted to go for years?

    Some people allow FEAR to rob their FREEDOM. I hope this insightful post can trigger some deeper thoughts for others. Thanks, Donna!

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum
    Viola Tam recently posted..Stay-at-Home Mums &#8211; Time FreedomMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 30, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi Viola!

      I just read your blog post about Time Freedom. It does go hand in hand here. So many people are fearful that they cannot work from home.

      I am so glad that you blog about that. You are helping so many people step out of their comfort zone and fear zone by giving them the knowledge of how to stay home and earn a salary for themselves.

      I remember those “dark days” when I was staying at home full time without working for the first 3 years of her life. Then I said “enough” and started my own business. I came a long way since then. This was before the internet. Now it is so easy to find something to do, stay home and watch your children grow, and be free!

      Thanks for your input,

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  3. Ade - Mr Wisdom September 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Donna,

    I was touched by your story! Although I do not experience any irrational fear, It really is a great learning experience for me to know how one can move from being not afraid to being so afraid of the same thing!
    Ade – Mr Wisdom recently posted..Everybody is a genius &#8211; How do you discover your Genius?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Thank you Ade!

      Fear can cripple one in any venture. Irrational fears or little ones,the point is, there is always a way to get over them.

      In business and in life itself, we owe it to ourselves to be the best we can be. We must always remember no matter how bad things get, there is a way to get around things.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  4. Leslie Denning
    Twitter:
    September 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Hi Donna. I’m kind of a rabbit, so this post resonated with me. It’s encouraging to read this post on how you have overcome your fear of thunderstorms.

    My latest bout with fear came about 2 years ago. I left my studio after dark to go home. When I got to the edge of town, the way was blocked by police cars, state patrol, ambulances, etc. There had been a bad accident. I sat in my car for almost 2 hours until the helicopter came to take the last victim away. I found out the next day that there had been a head-on crash when a man in a pickup passed on a hill and hit a car. He survived, but the passengers in the car will killed instantly.

    A couple of weeks later, I was going to my vacation home at night when a deer ran out of the woods at full speed and into the side of my car. The passenger window and the windshield shattered. It was dark as a pit, and I drove slowly to the next road to call for help.

    After those two incidents, I realized I was suffering from PTSD. I didn’t want to drive at night (and I still won’t drive to the Lake at night during deer season!), but I knew I had to drive home after work. I was terrified for weeks, but I finally had to tell myself that I had driven in Missouri more than 30 years, and it was the first time I’d had a deer collision.

    My fear has decrease quite a bit, and they have turned that 3-hills stretch of road into a no-passing zone. I’ll look forward to reading your next blog on EMDR.

    All the best,
    Leslie
    Leslie Denning recently posted..You Gotta Have a Plan, Stan!My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks so much for sharing your story! Now I can resonate with that one too. I was in a terrible car accident when I was a teen. Thank goodness back in those days we didn’t wear seat belts. If so, I wouldn’t be here today.

      The hood of the car smashed into the passenger seat where I was. If it wasn’t for my boyfriend pulling me down fast, I would be a gonner!

      Since then I have a terrible fear of cars. Even being a passenger! I can distract myself, but you wouldn’t want me in your car saying Oh..watch out!!!

      EMDR helped me with that one too. I can now be on long trips and not jump out of my seat when a tractor trailer passes.

      By the way…I don’t drive myself. Not because I am afraid to, but my vision isn’t good enough. I can obtain a license, but I know my own limitations because I have no perifial vision. Plus, growing up in NYC, there was never a need for a car until I moved to the “country” and now to Maine.

      I know I would be a hazard on the road, so no matter what DMV says it is not OK for me to drive.

      Thanks again,

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  5. William Amis
    Twitter:
    September 19, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Donna, I can feel the emotions flying all around as if I was there with you when one of the situations happened.

    I was stationed overseas a radio tower so high it was not seen at night with the clouds surrounding the top. I watched countless storm nights those brave men climbing to the top for some needed weekly change of something. I watched lightning and it was so amazing that I broke away from fear period. I told myself if something happens it will happen without me knowing and I would have ascended.

    I use to know about certain times of fear overwhelming that I did not know to move, fall run. That is the point of seriousness on focus to just take action. It is like my body is not in sink with my mind which is warning me of danger. I learned as you to overcome all fear by awareness of breathing and controlling choice.

    Donna, just reading and writing about this has my heart rate up and hands sweating. Thank you for bringing me back through my exercises to relive those times of anxiety which is fear built up in a dangerous level.

    Thank you Donna for being one of the best mentors in your industry.

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Hi William,

      I use the breathing technique all the time. I have learned in my journey many ways to relieve anxiety and boy have I worked on using them.

      Controlled breathing with a suggestion always works for me.

      Wow having that strong reaction just reading and writing about this is a great thing William. Sometimes we need to “go back” and see how far we came!

      Blessings,
      Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  6. PJ Zafra
    Twitter:
    September 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Interesting story here. It’s one of those fears where you have to dig into your subconscious so you could clearly see why and how it started. Happy to hear you’ve conquered it.

    We all have fears and we simply can’t let those stop us from growing and moving forward in life.
    PJ Zafra recently posted..Why it’s absolutely CRITICAL to feed your mind [Video]My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi PJ

      Absolutely. We all carry fears but once we acknowledge them one by one, we become more Free in mind/body and spirit!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  7. Rick Lelchuk September 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    Donna,

    I think more than the fear part of it you were experience a loss of the feeling of safety. We all have had that experience on September 11, 2001. One day we were the strongest nation on earth, invincible and undefeated and the next day our innocence and sense of security shattered. We were no longer safe. The world, and this country, was forever altered.

    So, however irrational you think your fear was, we’ve all had a taste of it.

    Looking forward to your next post and to find out how EMDR works.

    Best,

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk recently posted..The Quick Fix vs. Mother NatureMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Oh Boy Rick,

      I can NEVER forget that day! I was living close to the city. The sense of safety has gone away within a day.

      But, on the other hand I’m a pretty thick headed Italian woman. No way is anyone or anything going to come into my life and make me fear them. Also, it is that old school American way that is engrained in my being.

      I refuse to be terrorized!!! But yes, things have changed so much and we can choose to fear that or not. I have many clients that were there that day and one is a survivor. Her story is amazing.

      As for the world changes: we gotta go with the flow and be fearless. We need awareness, but not let anything bring us down.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  8. marquita herald
    Twitter:
    September 18, 2013 at 4:32 am #

    Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Donna. I’ve never heard of EMDR so I look forward to reading your next post and learning more. I do have a thing, but I think it’s more of a phobia than an irrational fear. Driving over an expansion bridge just about sends me over the edge – hands and feet sweat, heart pounding, short of breath, the whole nine yards. Not fun. Ha! Fortunately there are no expansion bridges in Hawaii so I haven’t had to deal with it in a long time.
    marquita herald recently posted..Why an Attitude of Gratitude May Not be EnoughMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Hi Marquita!

      I know you will enjoy learning about this type of therapy. Although controversial, it worked for me.

      Irrational fear or phobia, I think it is the same feeling. My husband has the same phobia as you. Once when we were on the west coast in Seattle WA, we went to Mt. Renier. There was an expansion bridge there and he went into full panic.

      We all have a reaction to something. But when it interferes with our life, we just have to keep on fighting until we can move on.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..EMDR TherapyMy Profile

  9. Dr. Erica Goodstone
    Twitter:
    September 17, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    Great story. I do a type of body mind therapy. It never ceases to amaze me that we store so much in our bodies. As our body begins to relax, then our mind can finally sort through the confusion, even relive a traumatic experience, and feel relieved and renewed afterwards. The loving support and positive thinking words can make a huge difference.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Relationship Healing Question &#8211; Ask &#8230; What Matters to You?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Erica!

      Yes it is amazing to me too how the body can store so many things. I remember when I broke my toe and put it on Facebook. You had replied to me something like it was about moving forward. And that was EXACTLY IT! I was packing up my home and moving to a new place!

      The first thing I do when something goes wrong in my body is listen to it and ask why. There is always some answer that comes to my mind. Using the mind/body technique is amazing. I have overcome many disEasements using that technique.

      Thanks for mentioning that!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  10. Alan Jenkin
    Twitter:
    September 17, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    What a fascinating story, Donna! I had no idea that irrational fears could suddenly appear – now I think I might be developing an irrational fear of irrational fears!!!

    It reminds me of my first attempt at scuba diving. One of the first things I had to do was lower myself into the water and breathe – once I was in there, I immediately panicked and shot up again. This was definitely NOT for me – breathing underwater, I knew, was impossible.

    Fortunately, my instructor was not fazed by this. He quickly got me over the fear, by telling me to go back to the car, then leave the panic there and come back into the water. As I did so, I thought about all the other divers, and realized that it must be possible, and just like that the fear was gone.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Alan
    Alan Jenkin recently posted..The Importance Of Recognition In Business And LifeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Thanks for sharing that Alan!

      What a wise instructor you had! When it comes to new experiences, we all have that fear creeping up. But breathing under water could spark panic with just about anyone!

      I am so glad you got over that. It is like the old saying of falling off a horse…you must get right back on!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  11. Yorinda September 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    thank you for sharing the example of your story.

    The EMDR technique sounds interesting especially if it worked for you.
    I am looking forward to your next post to find out more.

    Stormy days are my time of anxiety and I use a lot of self talk to soothe myself. Turning on music helps when it drowns out the noise of the weather.

    I appreciate knowing you and reading your posts!
    Cheers,
    Yorinda
    Yorinda recently posted..Courage Vulnerability and ShameMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Hi Yorinda,

      I used to turn that music up myself during a storm, but no matter what, this intense irrational fear took hold of my being.

      Now, I don’t like ANYTHING to get in my way. Guess I’m pretty stubborn he he.

      I never gave up on this journey and wanted to share it with others to hopefully be an example so others could resonate and help themselves.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  12. William Butler
    Twitter:
    September 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I really appreciate the honesty with which you share what you’ve experienced and am glad that you have found a way to become desensitized to irrational fear.

    Your account reminds me of when I was in the Navy, that at the mention of going to sea, a number of people would immediately get sea sick. Fortunately, that was not an issue for me. I also know from past experience elsewhere, that when you’re going through a traumatic experience, you can tell yourself to remain calm, but in the
    moment, your voice of reason can get lost in the chaos. It seems the more you try to not think about the fear, the more it manifests.

    I find it interesting how many people allow their beliefs to ruin their health, especially since we all have the ability to challenge our own beliefs.

    I look forward to your next post.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill
    William Butler recently posted..17 Ways To Foil Fear and Get Your Life BackMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Hi Bill,

      I too find it interesting that tons of people do allow their beliefs to ruing their health and welfare. There is ALWAYS room for change.

      In this example, although extreme, I tried so many ways to battle this fear that took over my entire body. I never gave up! Hypnosis worked for a short while, but then kind of faded away, even though I reinforced it with my tapes the hypnotist made for me.

      I am so full of joy that I finally found the “cure” for this particular fear through EMDR. This is why I just had to shout it out. Mostly because I wanted to give an example to others that all it takes is acknowledgement and some trial and errors to beat that fear!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  13. Sylviane Nuccio
    Twitter:
    September 15, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Ah, so that what that! I was wondering what fear you were referring to when you commented about that on my blog.

    By the way, so sorry for coming here so late, but I’ve been so busy this week.

    I am sure that fear that suddenly appeared was both because you were pregnant and your were in a bad relationship at the time. Then it settled in somehow.

    I am glad that EMDR helped you. That goes to show you that at times our fear are not even really deep and we can get rid of them rather fast. I hate to be fearful, it’s so paralyzing. I’m glad you took care of that one!
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Why Does Successful Entrepreneurship Require A Solid Inner FoundationMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Please don’t apologize…I’ve been tardy too. With my move and new clients coming in, it is difficult to keep up with everything, so I fully understand.

      Yes, I knew it was transference and protectiveness, but after 30 years I had enough! I could not stand to be paralyzed any longer and I am so happy I found my answer!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  14. Mayura
    Twitter:
    September 14, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    What a story! 🙂 I agree with Barbara there as your story is so awesome ’cause you overcame your fear after all. That’s what matters! If anyone can resonate with yours, now they just need to take action 🙂 Probably they are eager to read your next post.

    Ha ha… I still love to watch lightening too, but ugh… I’m not fond of sound though 😉

    Promptly, I thought the fear was just normal as you were pregnant that time Donna. Being protective is natural. Isn’t it? But as it lasted so many years, it made my thought invalid.

    As you may already know, I’m not comfortable with public speaking too Donna 🙂 But did few times and felt improvement though.

    In addition to public speaking, I kinda feel uncomfortable when others watching me too. Eventhough I looks like bit talkative online, I’m the quiet person here. I know I’m not so confident offline. I think my childhood experiences made me feel so and I do talk a lot in my mind 😀 Anyway, feel comfortable when I hang out with my friends though dear. Always feel uncomfortable when my father is present.

    Thank you so much for sharing your awesome personal story Donna 🙂 I believe your post can save few more years of readers as they give a thought about this matter. May be, rest of their lifetime? That’s really helping and it’s just awesome. Isn’t it? 🙂

    Looking forward to next post as I have no idea about EMDR 🙂

    You have a lovely weekend with your family around dear!

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted..Sharing on Google+ Made Automated in BloggerMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Mayura,

      Lots of people have that fear of public speaking. There are many stories I have heard of actors, and people in the public eye that get physically sick before they go on stage and speak.

      I even know a few of the “guru’s” online that feel that way before they give a presentation.

      I used to be so fearful of even raising my hand in the classroom when I was young, and yes, I too was fearful speaking in front of my Father.

      I had to push myself forward when I was called for the first time to do public speaking on paranormal events. I was in college and studying parapsychology. I had to do research and then go on a speaking tour. I was sick to my stomach.

      But something happened when I got on stage with that spot light on me. I took a deep breath and knew somehow I was there to help others. I put my notes to the side and just talked.

      I even had a radio show for a few years. Right before we went on, again I was sick to my stomach, but I pushed on because of my business. And people liked it!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  15. nick catricala September 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Donna, just read David article and he was irritated about the Wells Fargo issue… and now I come here expecting something nice about your new place (hint for a future post 🙂 and instead you had the story about lightnings…
    Ok, Ok, it is interesting and I loved the story about how and your dad enjoyed the natural spectacle.. then the second part come along and I had to read it two times to get it correctly…

    Wow, what a change… and yes, the fear or protective sense you had and gone under the table could be for the child you were carrying but when I read the second time it was clear to me that the fear come from what ever abuses you had received and experienced with that ex of yours…

    I will love to come and read your next article about EMDR… not because it helped you to get back to your normal self, but because I know as time go on, you will become better and better just as when you were 8 years old 🙂 so here you are, you are starting all over again and you will love it because you acquired so much along the way and every one around you will also benefit.

    Nice to know you are much safer now.
    All the best in every way and always… and yes, happy times at your new home and town.

    I missed to meet you and David when in NY state… but we never know, Main may be my next trip haha 🙂
    _nickc
    nick catricala recently posted..A picture is worth 100 words&#8230;My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi Nick!

      Yes, You are always welcome…Maine is a nice place to be …so far so good lol.

      I understood where that fear came from, but to be lasting that long …well, I just had to do something about it. After trying so many things, EMDR worked! That is why I wanted to share my experience on this post.

      If people can find any way to eliminate fear within themselves it is a good road to travel. It is awful if fear grips you and stops making you do the things you want to in life.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  16. Silviu September 14, 2013 at 7:20 am #

    Hi Donna,

    We all have irrational fears. It just happens. We are probably connected with an ancestral memory or things that happen in our childhood that trigger fear etc.

    If you can remember or identify the source of the fear, it is great. If you cannot, there are many techniques that help you control it.

    I don’t know what EMDR is but I like the idea of using catchy phrases to fight and overcome the fear. It reminds me of Paul Muad Dib, the main character in Dune.

    In that novel, irrational fear was recognized as a dangerous enemy and they used a powerful phrase to fight and overcome it:

    ” I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear’s path, and only I will remain.” Frank Herbert, Dune

    Have a wonderful day
    Silviu recently posted..How to Make a Powerpoint PresentationMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Silviu!

      I never read Dune, but heard about it. I want to thank you so much for adding such a wonderful comment to this discussion.

      I like the way fear was recognized as a dangerous enemy. It is! And most of all, thank you for that quote.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  17. Sonia September 14, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I have a few things that I consider “fear” and holds me back. The only thing really holds me back is “me”, but it depends on the situation. Like the storms for you, my biggest irrational fear was of succeeding.

    Can you believe that? I used to think I was silly for thinking that way, but I would give up right when I was about to finish. I was notorious for it for years, in fact for most of my life. Sometimes I feel like that still, but I am proud to say that I have successfully completed allot more than I expected.
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 16, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      You are not alone Sonia!

      There are so many people fearing success. I think it is because we didn’t come from “successful” people. Or it could be that we came from those 9-5 families that looked at success as staying with a job for a long time and getting a retirement package. Who knows? Everyone is unique.

      This is why we need to battle those fears inside of ourselves and set ourselves free. Especially if it comes to the fear of success!

      Glad you came out of that mindset.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  18. Arleen
    Twitter:
    September 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Donna- As children we do not have the fears as we do as adults.

    I have a fear of heights. I have no idea where that came from. I can be in a hotel room and if my husband goes out on the balcony I get the shakes and my stomach turns inside out. I have been told to conquer the fear attack the fear. I have tried and it doesn’t work. I just stay away from high places. The interesting thing is that I have no fear of flying in an airplane. Go Figure.
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Hi Arleen!

      I think being in an airplane gives a sense of protection because you are enclosed in this little tin can lol.

      But going out to the open when in high places will give you the shakes. It is so common that people have that fear of heights.

      As long as you don’t have to sit on high balconies for a living, you are OK

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  19. Sue Price
    Twitter:
    September 13, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    Hi Donna

    Wow thank you for sharing this story. It is so interesting that you loved electrical storms as a child then developed this fear. Clearly something was the trigger.

    I have always been afraid of thunder and lightening. Where I grew up it did not happen much but when it did I would be afraid. Now I live in a place where summer storms are very common. I am better than I was when we first came here but I would not call me chilled.

    I used to have a complete fear of heights from a very young age. I overcame that by abseiling and pushing through a whole bunch of activities. I am sure the EMDR tech would be an easier way to overcome it. I am looking forward to hearing about it in your next post.

    I think most people have some irrational fears. Like Adrienne most people have one or had one on public speaking. And fear can be so debilitating.

    Thanks for an awesome post Donna.

    Sue
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Sue.

      Thanks for sharing your fears! I think we all have them so a certain degree. It is when it is debilitating that we need to do something about it.

      I tried so many ways, but to no avail. When I did one session with EMDR, It was gone. During the storms, I have a memory of being afraid, but no emotion.

      It is like a memory of “Oh I purchased that chair in the store” just like that…

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  20. Harleena Singh
    Twitter:
    September 13, 2013 at 1:12 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What a story! I can SO well imagine how it must have been initially when you didn’t have this fear and later how it was the thing you hated the most.

    I can relate to this because I see something similar in my elder daughter, who has the fear of the dark. When she was a child, she was a fearless one and would be the first one to go into any dark room or place, but as she grew up(now a teen), she just cannot stay alone in any dark place! No matter how much we try and explain things to soothe her down, she just wouldn’t come out of it. She has to switch on all the lights before even passing from one room to the other where it’s dark. Perhaps it’s the stories or horror movies they tend to see nowadays, or have friends who talk of such things. I just wonder! I’d love to hear more about the EMDR process, which might be helpful.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 13, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      Hi Harleena,

      I’m sure it is all those horror movies and friends that have this bold effect on your daughter. Sometimes teens go through such things, but it is difficult to witness when you are a parent.

      Sometimes we can rationalize until we are blue in the face, but to no avail. I love EMDR because the therapy works well. I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.

      Meanwhile, I hope for your daughter’s sake it is a passing phase!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  21. Jeevan Jacob John September 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    My approach has been consider my fears as my friends (I talk to my fears, as if they are living and can “hear” me :D).

    As for irrational fears, that might be a whole another case. I also find it very hard to draw the line of rationality and irrationality. Is fearing the dark because you think some monster might be hiding it in rational? Or is it irrational?

    Yes, I do fear the dark, but I am working on confronting it. When I was younger, I need to keep the lights on, not night lights, the normal room lights. Yeah, it was a bad thing to do (environmentally and economically). But over the years, I have managed to get rid of that “want”. Nowadays, I am okay with sleeping in the dark 😀

    Anyways, I am glad that you were able to confront your fear of lighting. I will be waiting for the next post – to learn more about the process 😀

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Jeevan,

      It is difficult to draw that line between rational and irrational fears.

      I find that if we fear something that is not apparently there (like monsters under the bed) and it gets us to the point of fear that we won’t even sleep in the bed, that would be an irrational fear.

      Something that stops us from doing what we need to do with no apparent reason. That’s just my take!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  22. Corina Ramos September 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing this personal story with us and I love that you’ve faced your fear and overcoming it.

    Your “catch phrase” reminded me of the time my therapist suggested positive reinforcement statements whenever I felt my fear of failure coming on. I haven’t used those phrases in sometime so you’ve also encouraged me to start doing that again. I forgot how relaxed and confident it made me feel.

    Your story is inspiring for anyone who is dealing with their fears. I can’t wait to read your next post! Hope all has been well!

    Happy Thursday!
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 13, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Thanks Corina,

      Keep on saying those positive statements to yourself, even when you are feeling great. The subconscious mind needs to be reinforced all the time.

      Funny how it works, but at least we know we do have control over any fear that stands in our way!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  23. Lisa
    Twitter:
    September 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    Donna, wow, odd how it changed one way to another for you. You overcame your fear. That is great!
    I have one, it’s dogs. I was bitten several times as a kid and I now fear dogs. When I go walking or for a job I have to use tracks where I know dogs will not be. Just hearing the collar around a dog’s neck will get me tense! It can interfere with my life as I can’t just walk down the road. I would love to get over the fear!
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

      Now that’s a good one Lisa!

      But, it seems to me it interferes with your life style because you can’t walk down the road.

      It is a valid fear because you were bitten. But think of this: There are many dogs around and they are friendly and won’t bite you. Of course we have to be cautious of any unleashed dog because we don’t know what they would do. But the fear is preventing you from taking a walk. The sound of a dog collar can put you in a tizzy.

      Hit up my next post whereby I will explain the process of EMDR. You just may want to try it. Any way to free yourself from fear is an elevating experience.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  24. Gladys Cruz
    Twitter:
    September 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi Ms.Donna
    Thank you for opening up a private part of your life.
    I dealt with fear because we grew up in New York City and we heard many gun shots, but the worse was we were not safe outside or inside the apartment. My father had rifles and guns. We know how fear can destroy our peace, but I also know we can regain the peace that fear can rob from us.
    Thank you again and I am thrilled you are free.
    Gladys

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 12, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      Hi Gladys,

      Yes, that is enough to be fearful of! When I lived in Brooklyn, the reason I ran out of there was the gunshots. I was sick and tired of taking my daughter out of bed and laying on her to protect her.

      Yes fear does destroy our peace, but we need to grab it head on and do something, even if it takes a while!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  25. Rebekah Radice
    Twitter:
    September 12, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

    What a story Donna! And how incredible to see how you overcame that fear. We certainly all have fears or that small internal voice that tells us we should fear something. While most feel very real, almost all are irrational and simply not grounded in truth.

    I feared public speaking and decided that because of that, I had to do it. When I first started, I would shake uncontrollably. To the point where I thought I’d fall off stage. Most people watching probably just thought I had a strange tick. 😉 But the more I did it, the more I loved it. Now 10 years later I can’t get enough of it.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still get nervous every time, but it no longer terrifies me. Overcoming our fears can be extremely rewarding!
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    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 12, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      Hi Rebekah,

      Thanks for sharing that! I’ve heard so many stories of people fearing public speaking. You made me laugh when you said it looked like you had a nervous tick.

      But you took that fear head on and good for you Girl! Yes it can be nerve-wracking before we get going, but once we do, it is a breeze.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  26. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    September 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Wow Donna, that’s horrible that you lived with that so long. It’s amazing that you went from loving it to being deathly afraid of it. I can’t imagine having a fear that intense but I’m so thrilled you were able to move past that. I can’t wait to learn more about EMDR. Obviously I don’t know what that is but I can’t wait to find out.

    I do have a few fears I guess. Nothing to that extent but I am afraid to speak in public. Sylviane tried telling me it stems from me thinking I’m not good enough but I disagree with that way of thinking. People always want to blame it on that but I’ve been this way since I was a kid. I never even ventured into thinking I wasn’t good enough. I just got really nervous when I got in front of people and I stumbled over my words, forgot everything I was going to say and it was a horrible experience. I’m talking about a family play and not even anything drastically serious.

    From that moment on I just get so nervous I throw up so I’ve never done anything like that ever again. Oh I KNOW I’m good enough, that’s not the issue. I have a horrible memory to begin with, my brother and I laugh about that a lot. I don’t remember crap and he remembers everything. It’s embarrassing at times even. It’s like I was never there and they’re telling me what I use to do. Really!

    Anyway, can’t wait to learn more about this and I’m so pumped for you girl. That’s so amazing.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Why It Is Never A Waste Of TimeMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Oh that common fear of talking in front of people! We all have it to one degree or another. It is quite common you know. But if it is something you needed to overcome, I’m sure you would work on it somehow.

      I did a lot of public speaking in the past. I was even on cable TV shows and all the pent up emotion did get me sick to my stomach, but once I started blabbing, I didn’t stop.

      I like EMDR because it really doesn’t matter why, but rather going with the flow of it, little memories come in, you address that memory no matter how small it is, and then go on from there.

      Like me, I understood the reason of transference, but it did me no good. Hypnosis didn’t last long but this did and I am thrilled to share it with all.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

  27. Barbara Charles
    Twitter:
    September 12, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Wow Donna – this post is awesome. Not awesome because of your fear, but awesome because you overcame it. It also awesome that you have decided to share such a deep personal part of you and I appreciate that.

    I guess everyone has fears, some more irrational than others, at least others might call them irrational. But fear is not irrational to the person who has it and it can hold us back in all things.

    I’m so glad you were able to overcome your fear. NOW THAT IS AWESOME.

    I look forward to the rest of your story and the method and technique you used to eliminate fear from your life.

    Again thanks for sharing such a deep and emotional part of your life with us.
    Barbara

    • Donna.Merrill
      Twitter:
      September 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

      Didn’t know I was such a chicken Barbara? He He

      Actually it was an irrational fear because I went into fear mode just hearing that there might be a storm coming. Sometimes it never did. But, nonetheless, I went right into panic.

      I did want to share my deepest fear because I’ll let you all know the wonderful technique that actually saved my lifestyle.

      -Donna
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Irrational FearMy Profile

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