“Are you afraid of the big bad wolf, Doctor?”
Do you ever wonder where your fears come from? Personally, I’ve always been fascinated by the different phobias and their names. During my computer class in high school I would always look up the weirdest phobias (shhh, don’t tell anyone that. Personally, I think I was educating myself for better purposes. Like who else knows these phobias? Sadly, me. :p) One of my favorite ones would have to be Tristadekaphobia which is the fear of pickles. Like, seriously, there are people out there who are afraid of pickles. FREAKING PICKLES. Now I’m not one to judge too quickly, but seriously, how can anyone ever be afraid of a cucumber soaked in vinegar (or as my roommate would say “a cucumber soaked in evil”)? I mean, dude, have you ever tried fried pickles? You are seriously missing out if you haven’t. Then there is Pogonophobia, the fear of people with beards. Now I can understand maybe not particularly liking beards because I personally always hated it when my dad would kiss me goodnight and his beard would scratch my cheek. It’s like trying to kiss a porcupine. Then my dad shaved his face free of the nasty beard and I was frightened because I thought there was a creepy stranger in my house (in my defense, I was only five.) Some of my favorites though would be these: Hippopotonomstrosesquippedaliophobia, the fear of long words (very, very ironic), Phronemophobia, the fear of thinking (I actually think there’s some people who would have the exact opposite of this phobia because they think too much. 😉 Nevertheless, there is no way of avoiding thinking. Unless, you know, you’re brain dead. In that case, be a vegetable!), Francophobia, the fear of French people (I find this extremely amusing because I can’t stand French people. I may not have a fear, but to those who do…I feel ya…I truly feel ya), and lastly…Caligynephobia, the fear of beautiful women (yes, men, there is a fear out there of beautiful women. You never thought you would hear that one, did you?) Then there are more rational fears like Trypanophobia, the phobia of needles; some will even faint at the sight of needles or just completely freak out where as I’m just like, “Go for it, have a field day. I don’t care.” Then there’s the fear of the dark, Nyctophobia which I think we all catch when we’re children and afraid of monsters, but somehow that fear still lingers in our adult years (at least it somewhat has for me. That Doctor Who episode has scarred me for life.) Although I may laugh at all these “ridiculous” phobias, I can’t always explain why my fears are so rational. Here are mine (if you really care to know):
1. Thalassophobia, the fear of the ocean (now it’s not like I can’t go to the beach, but I definitely don’t like going in the water at all. Ever since Soul Surfer…well, let’s just say that I don’t want to be a shark’s mid afternoon snack. It isn’t just sharks though, I just don’t want any sea creature touching me. Gross. :p)
2. Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders (now I know that I don’t have a severe case of it, but I will scream at the top of my lungs if I see one near me or in the household. Especially if it’s the size of a cat. Like, no, that’s not normal.)
3. Dystychiophobia, the fear of accidents and Tachophobia, the fear of speed (these fears are related to a fear of driving, although there isn’t a specific name for just the fear of driving. I know, I know, the source of this fear. I’ve been in two car accidents in my life [none caused by me, I promise], but the one I had a really bad experience with by breaking my collar bone and it took me a long time to recover from that physically. I’m still dealing with it mentally, hence why I don’t have my license yet.)
4. Hypochondrisasis, the fear of medical illness (this is the closest I could get to what my phobia is. My real fear is of the human body. Like, it could spontaneously combust out of nowhere for all I know. Pain in my stomach? Oh gosh, this is it, I’m gonna die. That is seriously one of the first things that goes through my head, I’m not even joking. It is sad, but true. I also get extremely nauseated and dizzy when someone is talking about the body like explaining cancer or surgery or anything that could lead to death, really. This is probably my second worst fear.)
5. Autophobia, fear of being alone (Again, closest name I could get to what my actual fear is: fear of abandonment. I don’t fear being alone because at times that can be nice to get away for a little while and relax. What I really fear is that some day the people I care about are going to leave me. I have had many dreams where my friends leave me to be friends with other people or even my own mother dropping everything and leaving [the one dream I had she drove away in a taxi with a bunch of cartoon characters so she could start a job with them. I can’t say I blame her for that one, though. That would be pretty awesome.] I guess the reason why that dream has always been so significant is because I woke up bawling. And in that brief moment after waking up I was so mad at her. And sometimes I wonder how I might actually react if someone left me. I cannot tell you how many dreams I’ve had related to abandonment, though, and that is probably why this is my number one fear.)
Now, I can step back and look at my fears and say, “Okay, that one is kind of ridiculous” or “I really need to get over that so I can get on with my life”, but I know that I will never fully overcome my fears. As the Doctor once said, “Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” Not saying that I have to go in the ocean or hold a tarantula in my hand to get over my fear, but it also doesn’t mean that I should stop living my life and surrender to my fears, especially ones like the fear of driving and abandonment. Those will always hold me back if I give in to them. How else will I get to places? How else will I build relationships? How am I going to react if someone actually does let me down and walk out the door?
The one man in my life who has never let me down (although I know I’ve had my struggles with him, especially recently) is my God, the great and awesome creator of the universe. The one who died and rose again for me and lives on and on, forever and ever. It is only when I surrender my fears to him can I get on with my life, step by step. I’m still working on that with a couple of my fears because it is not an easy task; but I’m sure, no, I know, that if I trust in Him, anything is possible. I can’t allow myself to live in fear; I can only allow myself to live my life to the fullest.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will you with my righteous right hand.
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.