Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Confronting My Fears

on September 2, 2011
After blood donation

Image by acroamatic via Flickr

I don’t fear death. I don’t have an irrational fear of strangers, no matter how much my grandmother tried to instill that in me. I used to be afraid of water, but now I’m just very cautious around it. I have two fears – pain and helplessness. I confronted one of those this week.

I think it’s obvious why I’m afraid of pain. Death is unavoidable – I’m okay with that. But most pain is avoidable. I think this is why it took me so long to start running. I knew it would hurt. Why would I want to do that to myself? I’m not a wuss, either. I’ve always had a fairly high pain tolerance. Maybe it’s because when pain has really bothered me, it’s because it would have to be pretty bad.  I don’t think I’m going to get over this fear, but I don’t let it bother me most of the time.

The other fear, helplessness, really bothers me. I’m a very independent woman and I like to rely on myself. I don’t have a partner to share things, so I’ve learned to be very self-reliant. So, those moments in which I can’t do anything for myself really bother me.

I think it started in 8th grade. I was sitting in my health class, listening to a guest speaker. The D.A.R.E. program had brought in a woman whose life had been affected by drunk driving. I had been sick that week, suffering from my ongoing sinus issues. I hadn’t eaten lunch because I wasn’t feeling well. We were listening to the lady describe the accident that her family had been involved in because a drunk driver had hit them. She described her husband’s leg break. She said that if noon was the toes straight to the front, during the accident, it twisted all the way around to 7 o’clock. That was it. The next thing I know I’m being helped off the floor by our D.A.R.E. officer and my health teacher.  I had fainted, right in the middle of class. I looked around and all of my friends, except the guy I was dating, were staring at me. He was avoiding eye contact for some reason. The teacher helped me down to the nurses office. I was mortified.

From that moment on, it really bothered me to be helpless, to have to rely on someone else. I continued to have fainting problems off and on through high school and college. When giving a small vial of blood for medical tests, having a mole removed, or even having a TB test, I would have problems with fainting. It led to me avoiding these types of situations just not to find myself being helpless and needing someone else.

That leads to Wednesday of this week. After some medical tests this spring in which I had to have several vials of blood drawn and I did not faint, I decided to donate a pint of blood. I have wanted to do this for awhile, but my fear led me to avoid it, even though I knew it would be a good thing to do. My church held a blood drive and I decided to sign up. I was nervous, but the people were great, talked me through it, and made sure I was okay before I left. The thing that really got me was how selfish I was being. What is a few minutes of feeling uncomfortable or fainting compared to helping up to four people? I had no problems – I kept my blood sugar up with a bottle of apple juice and I took it easy when I got up. I was so happy that I successfully confronted my fear and gave blood, and I could see myself giving blood in the future!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: