Fear Is A Bully

According to most of my friends, I am an extremely rational person. Sure, I have a daydream here or there, but for the most part, I live my life grounded in reality. But when the sun sets, and night’s mysteries come out to play, my level headedness often flies out the window.

Take last night. I’m house sitting for a friend, and due to the conveniences that her successful career provides, I get to enjoy an at-home gym, a kidney shaped pool, and a steam room. This is a vacation, really. But once the lights were off, and the alarm was set, I found my mind wandering into dangerous waters. What was that noise? Someone is in the house. I just know it. Should I sleep under the bed? Would that be weird? Needless to say, it was a long, sleepless evening, and I have only my imagination to blame.

My nighttime fears are not solely about home invasions. If I had a dollar every time I woke up at 3 am to worry about my health, I could own my friend’s house – steam room and all. One night, I dined on a rich feast of Moules-frites, ribeye steak, and burrata salad. When my stomach woke me up in the middle of the night, I was convinced I was allergic to butter. Or maybe it’s the pesticides we put on our crops? The steroids in the animals? Can I eat anything? Oh God, will I have to become…VEGAN?

It’s easy to go down the rabbithole. I mean, why does my tongue go numb and break out with weird bumps when I drink a margarita? What’s in that mix? Am I safe? Are YOU safe?

The media doesn’t help either. How many times have you been watching the five o’clock news, just to hear, “Does bug spray cause infertility? Find out on news at 11.” WHAT???? But I’m watching the news NOW.

Fear can be debilitating, and when I let it take control, it has stopped me from doing the things that I love. But when I feel my heart quicken when I begin to worry about an allergic reaction, an illness, or getting robbed, I try to remember this: FEAR is just False Evidence Appearing Real. Studies show that our biggest concerns and fears rarely, if ever, come to fruition. So maybe we just need to take a theoretical chill pill.

So eat that steak, sip on the margarita, and sleep well. Life is too short to worry about something that most likely will never be.

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