About 2 weeks ago I went in for 21 different blood tests.
After fasting for 12+ hours.
I was at the lab for a whopping 2.5 hours.
This may sound rather uneventful to some of you.
But for someone that
doesn’t like is phobic of getting blood drawn, it SUCKED!
I spent weeks mulling over the right lab to go to, figuring out how many tubes of blood they were going to draw, figuring out if I could lay down during the procedure . . . you know, obsessing over all the details and the ways in which I needed to prepare.
I made sure to have my water bottle.
My post-draw snacks (gourmet raw milk cheese + salumi + pistachios of course).
I brought my lucky rock (yup).
I wore my favorite scarf, my favorite elephant necklace, brought magazines, books, audio visualizations and chocolate scented hand lotion (just ’cause).
I was PREpared.
I get to the lab. It was packed. I was mega nervous.
But immediately heard a woman hootin’ & hollerin’ in the back. She was cracking jokes & having fun.
A party at the lab? Ok. I might be game.
I get escorted to my room by another woman, who was far less than nice.
She told me she was going to take my blood and I said, NOPE. I want the funny lady.
She gave me a dirty look and walked away. I felt bad. Sorta.
Five minutes later, in walks Sonya. The most jovial, amazing woman ever! She is Oprah meets Paula Deen.
EXACTLY what I needed. A little comedy + a lot of soul to lighten the thick cloud of fear hanging over my head.
See, I’m a fear-a-holic.
I’ve had panic attacks as far back as 1991.
I’ve got full on phobia’s of a few things. Namely enclosed spaces, hospitals and medical procedures.
It’s embarrassing for me to admit.
I mean, I’m 35 years old. Shouldn’t I just be able to suck-it-up? Chill out? Just deal? Get over it?
Turns out nope. I shouldn’t. And neither should you.
No matter what we may have been told, fear is inevitable. We’re not gonna get rid of it.
No matter how hard we try.
The goal isn’t to eliminate fear.
Trying to get rid of it or ignore it makes it grow and come back with a vengeance.
Instead, it’s like the ever wise Josh Pais says . . . “You gotta just party with it.” (the fear that is)
Party with fear? Sounds kinda crazy (impossible) right?
Maybe. But it’s deceptively simple.
And TOTALLY works!
These are the 4 steps I use when I’m facing some pretty major fear moments (adapted from the amazing Josh Pais’ Committed Impulse – which changed my life)!
#1 :: Take a several slow, deep breaths (inhale thru the nose, exhale thru the mouth)
#2 :: Open your eyes and take in the details of what’s around you (in other words, wake up)!
#3 :: Feel the sensations (fear is after all, just a bodily sensation/energy)
#4 :: Create an action or phrase that helps re-connect you to the present moment and say it/do it OUT LOUD (this can be anything – a phrase, saying your own name, clapping your hands or as Josh teaches – saying “I’m BACK“). Create something that’s meaningful and helps bring you back to the present moment.
I’m happy to say that I made it through my phlebotomy ordeal unscathed (and still conscious).
I used the 4 Steps above plus a little partying with Sonya (Paul Rudd style) to manage an otherwise unmanageable situation.
Oops, I almost forgot. Paul Rudd. You might be wondering what he has to do with this post?
Well, that guy really REALLY knows how to party. Case in point . . .
I’m interested to know . . .
What are your unmanageable fears? Things that are holding you back from being happy, fulfilled and anxiety-free.
What techniques do you use to manage them?
Leave a comment below.