Unbeknownst to me, I was going to face some fears today. I did not wake up and think, “Hey, I am feeling really strong today, I am going to face some fears!” Nope, it just happened. I was unprepared and unexpecting it, but alas, the world decided that today would be the day for me.
I have this horrid fear of being walked in on while using the bathroom. It prevents me from using public restrooms unless I absolutely must. But, today, of all days, I forgot to lock the bathroom stall, and yup, someone walked right in on me. But much to my surprise I did not die. I am still alive, typing about what happened. Did I have a panic attack? Nope. Did I have an anxiety attack? Yup! But you know what I am fine. The shaking and the need to throw up didn’t last that long and I was able to get them under control through breathing and cognitive behavior techniques I have learned over the years.
It’s an odd fear. Not sure where it came from, perhaps from being walked in on previously? I am quite embarrassed about it. That something so simple as just opening a door to access a bathroom stall brings me such anxiety and fear. However, perhaps now that the dreaded event has happened, I will have less fear as I have proven to myself that I will be just fine if it should happen again.
In the past, something like this happening, would derail me completely. I would have been crying mess, calling my mom all hyperventilating to the point where she can’t hear a word I am saying. But, through my therapy and the time I have spent with bringing rationality to my irrational thoughts, I am far stronger than I have been in the past and now better able to cope.
I am hoping that I don’t have to face any more fears today. I am now dreading my drive home because I have some major driving anxiety and would prefer to not have to face that anxiety head on. But, should that be what is in the cards for me, I will remind myself what Christopher Robin spoke to his little friend Winnie the Pooh, “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”