Tag Archives: fear

I’m Fine – How Often Do We Mean It? – Ami Ireland

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This next guest spot is from a dear friend of mine I had the pleasure of meeting online this year and working with. In continuing to work with her, I got to know her more and more each day, learning about her disability and what life likes for her. If you havent read any of her blog yet, please head over to Undercover Superhero and take a look around. I promise you’ll find something that intrigues you. 

The phrase “I’m fine” is one of the most popular answers to respond with when asked about how we are feeling. But do we actually mean it? If no, then why do we use the phrase as a default response?

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A recent poll I conducted on Twitter shows that out of 108 people, who took part in the poll, 52% of them use the phrase and mean it between 0% to 25% of the time. There are so many reasons as to why that is:

It’s Easier To Hide How We Really Feel

I’m sure that many of you will agree that we often feel like a burden when we open up and feel anxious about the other person thinking or saying “What have you got to be down about?”, “Things could be worse” or something similar. There is still so much stigma around mental health which also causes us not to express how we are truly feeling. The lack of understanding and empathy towards one another is something that I, personally, think that is the main issue with regards to replying with “I’m fine” as there are some people who just do not or choose to not understand mental health.

Convenience

“I’m fine” is definitely a lot easier and quicker to say rather then going into detail about how we actually feel. Then again, this can coincide with the fear of how others react to when we open up. Also, it could just be convenient to say if you were to quickly acknowledge a passer-by in the street or something.

Repetition

If like me, you have a variety of conditions, it can get pretty exhausting repeating ourselves to different people. As a result, this is where convenience ties in making the phrase an easier and quicker response.

Fear

The fear of causing others around us to worry. It could possibly be due to the fear of finding out who our true friends are and how supportive they are.

27% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 25% > 50% Of The Time & 19% Of People Mean It Between 50% > 75% Of The Time

This is interesting. As you can see, the less of the amount of people who use the phrase, the more of the chance they actually mean it. Personally, I think this is because people are in the process of realising who understands mental health and those that choose to ignore it.

Is It A Test Or Cry For Help?

Do we reply with “I’m fine” to test others? This could explain the process of finding out who truly care about how we feel. On the other hand, it could be a cry for help, which will also let us find out who care enough to be supportive.

3% Of People Use The Phrase and Mean It Between 75% > 100% Of The Time

I’ve been thinking long and hard about why only 3% mean it between 75% and 100% of the time. Here are my thoughts:

Trust

The person has surrounded themselves with those who are supportive and understanding which enables them to open up rather than just saying “I’m fine”.

Honesty

I think the person is comfortable with being honest, regardless of the situation or outcome, therefore they are completely honest with each person they come across. Or the person does actually feel fine.

Do you use the phrase as an automatic reply? Or do you truly mean it?

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Author bio: Ami is a disability Blogger who writes about her recovery and talks openly about living with multiple disabilities. Her blog, UndercoverSuperhero is a place where she attempts to look at life more positively. Ami has a passion for volunteering and a strong love for superheroes. She aims to raise awareness of disabilities, illnesses, mental health illnesses, etc and has an ongoing series called “The Reality of…” which enables fellow bloggers and readers to raise awareness of the conditions they live with. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Halloween: A Time to be Aware – Lexie Wohler

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What do you think of when you think about Halloween? Is it a time of year that scares you, or is it a time of year that excites you? Is Halloween your favorite holiday because you get to scare your friends without getting in trouble? Do you like putting on costumes or seeing what fun costumes people actually make from scratch? What was your favorite costume to dress up in when you were a kid? What costumes scared you the most?

Going out on Halloween was always fun as a kid.  I would always try and go in a group with my friends. There were neighbors that would give me better treats than others. Some would even ask me what kind of candy I wanted and let me pick from an assortment of candies and chocolates. Sometimes, I was too afraid to say trick or treat in order to actually get the treats so my parents had to say “trick or treat” for me.  Were you ever too afraid to say “trick or treat” as a kid?

Some of my favorite candies to get included Milky Ways, Reese’s and Crunch Bars. Trading candies for the ones you like is probably a fond memory for you. I know it is for me, too. What were some of your least favorite candies to get during Halloween? Some of my least favorite were Butterfingers and Twizzlers.

Halloween is a fun time of year. As a Christian, it is important to keep your mind on the right things. During this holiday your mind can be bombarded with scary images and you might actually get scared by your friends just for the fun of it. Sure, it can be fun to play practical jokes on your friends just to try it, but remember not to take it too far. During Halloween, it can be hard to remember that the purpose is to just have fun and not to scare anyone half to death.

If you’re a Christian, Halloween means remembering that this season of the year is all about the evil of this world. Yes, I said it’s about evil things. Even though many of the costumes are for show, they can create permanent scars on someone’s mind if they aren’t ready for a good scare.

It is important to not let your guard down too fast either. People sometimes use Halloween as an excuse to cause mayhem and destruction. They use the costumes figuring that no none can see behind their masks. If you see someone causing fear, you can step in and stop it.

You could easily get swept away in the scary costumes, the candy, and the craziness that comes with Halloween if you let yourself. Yes, it is it certainly a time to have fun and be out with your friends; but it also means being hyper aware of your surroundings at all times. You never know what could happen at a moment’s notice.  Have fun, but keep your wits about you as you go out with friends and family.

Never be afraid to step in if you see someone getting really spooked by a costume. Never be afraid to do the right thing.  Have fun with your friends while being safe!

Author Bio: Alexis is a singer, writer, and a Christian. She writes a blog on Beliefnet.com called We Wait, He Works, and loves to write faith-based blogs and nonfiction plays. Her all-time favorite movie is The Lion King, and she’s a proud Disney fanatic. She can often be found enjoying nature and taking pictures of sunsets. Her goal is to land a full-time job with a Christian magazine.

You can find Lexie on the following platforms: Facebook  Instagram Twitter Blog Tumblr

Fences – Glen McKenzie

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Emotional Barriers in Life

Like life, our blog has gone through an evolutionary process over the past while, part of which grew us to Thoughts From The WildernessIts about relating how nature and the outdoors intersect with our daily lives; our struggles; and ways we might be able to triumph over issues that are hindering us. Our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.Sometimes the hardest part is simply taking that first step to climb over whatever personal stumbling blocks are in your path. We’d love it if you would like to follow along this journey with us. Our blog can be found at https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com; on TwitterFacebook and finally on Instagram

Everyone has seen fences. We have them along two sides of our property; one wood and one chain link. Just walk down the street and you’ll pass fences of all descriptions. They can simply be for decoration along the front of a lawn; to surrounding a school yard; to marking the perimeter of a farmers field.

The reality is that fences serve two purposes only.

They are used to keep things in or to keep things out. We build them ourselvesor someone else builds them for us. They don’t spring up out of the ground, like dandelions on our lawn.

People also build another barrier or fence – aninvisible one.

These are the mental or emotional fences in our lives to keep things in or out…whether they be people, emotions, hurt, or pain, just to name a few. These invisible fences seemingly provide a sense of protection and comfort, as we live our lives.

Emotional fence building starts early in life. Unfortunately, these fences get re-enforced and strengthened as time goes by. They get built a little higher on a daily basis.

In as much as physical fences can be made of wood, concrete, brick, or wire, the emotional or mental fences and barriers we build can be constructed out of:

  • fear
  • self-worth
  • trusting others
  • the past

Fear

The building supplies needed to construct the emotional fence of fear can be found all around us.

For many of us, there were two or three things about fear we figured out, or conversely didn’t get a good grip on.

  • we never learned how to overcome fear
  • we learned that if we avoided making mistakes there was nothing to fear in life
  • we learned to never take any risks due to the risk of failure.

Because we feared failure; we also learned thefear to try.The hideous part of all of this is the spiral of “fear to try and fear of failure. This corrals us into a never-ending cycle of mind-numbing conformity of living life on a treadmill.

Fearing What?

We may fear starting a new career or asking a special someone out, or being in a long term relationship. Perhaps it’s the fear of success as it is unknown how life could be changed as a result.  Are you afraid of being pushed out of yourcomfort zone?

It is fear that tells us that we don’t have the correct skills for a new position; when in fact we do. Fear convinces us that our new colleagues may not like us. Fear also convinces us that we are comfortable where we are; that life is good enough.

We fear intimacy or to be in a relationship. We may have been hurt in the past and the fear of rejection or being hurt again whispers to us; don’t go down that road again.As a result of this fear; we don’t. We turn down an invite for coffee, afraid it may go further. We come up with every excuse under the sun, when that perfect someone shows interest in us. Even if we get into a relationship, our subconscious sabotages it because we fear the emotional intimacy.

The fears we have can appear to be real. Nevertheless, fear can pin us down like superglue.  This results in us being stuck in a place we truly don’t want to be. We desire to move on in our lives; to grow and live life full-out, but fear holds us back.

The fear of failure leads to the fear to try; which leads back to a fear of failure.  It is a vicious cycle.

Fears are personal — people are afraid of failure, rejection and possible conflicts.

Self-Worth

Self worth (how we view ourselves) is often tied directly to the level of self-esteem we have. At some point early in our life, we started to build those emotional fences, because we may have felt unloved, awkward, or incompetent.

This can be a life-long construction project. The materials needed to construct the fence of self-worth can get delivered right to your front door by the truckload. Perhaps they show up on a daily basis. People with low self-worth are hyper-sensitive to the criticism and actions of those around us. The greater threat, however, in the construction of this emotional barrier can be found within.

We don’t believe in ourselves, like everyone else does. Everyone encourages you saying, “you have got a great talent for this or that,but you don’t believe them, so you never try.

Every time that happens, you add yet another board to the fence of low self-worth. It slowly gets constructed higher and higher; year after year, until it becomes almostimpossible to knock down.

The nails holding the boards together become stronger each time it happens. The boards become thicker and heavier.

You may hear negative comments, so you choose to never try. What might have been your destiny in life had you not allowed others to erect your fence.

We come to believe we don’t have the talent, ability or skills to succeed in various areas of our life; while those around us believe we are capable.

Poor self-worth keeps us penned in from entering into meaningful relationships. Why would they like me? How can I love others, if I can’t even love myself?

Like fear; negative self-worth and low self-esteem are personal…real personal.

Trusting Others

Like the boards on a wooden fence rotting away over time, so does trust.

I read some place that trust is a “fundamental human experience”necessary for society to function and for any person to be relatively happy. Without it, fear rules. Trust is not an either/or proposition, but a matter of degree; and certain life experiences can impact a person’s ability to trust others.”

Issues of trust may come from experiences in childhood, such as inadequate love and affection, mistreatment or abuse. Perhaps you experienced bullying during your school years. Whatever the reason, these experiences have culminated into our adult relationships. It is harder to trust people if your self-esteem has been kicked out of you over time.

As an adult it could be a traumatic life event such as the loss of a loved one, an accident,  illness or perhaps you have been the victim of physical violence. These issues could very well lead to your inability to trust in the goodness of others. It might have been with a partner who broke that trust bond with you.

It could be all of the above. Trusting others, as well as trusting one’s self-care becomes a major issue.

It can be helpful to remind yourself that your current circle of friends/family may not be responsible for past events. It isn’t fair to them to make assumptions based on the actions of someone completely different from your past. It can be a hard process, but building trust is a choice, and building trust in any relationship takes time, especially if your trust has been shattered.

The fence of “trusting others”can be hard to change and renovate. But, it can be done.

The Past

The past often creeps into perceptions about the future. Unfortunately, the past gets carried into the present as the “baggage of life.”And we allow it to happen.

The tricky thing about emotional fences is that we may not even know we’ve built them. We don’t realize we allow the past to build yet another fence of emotional baggage when we get involved in a new relationship. The hideous part of this is, if we haven’t dealt with issues from our past, we are potentially sabotaging this new relationship; which just may be the one that has long-term potential.

If we never deal with past events, our feelings of fear and hurt continue growing until we somehow crazily justify the whole mess…and the cycle continues.

We do the same thing over and over and wonder why the results are always the same.

Fences that went up in the past don’t have to define our future.

So…..

Some fences we build on our own; some get built by others.

Regardless of who constructed them, complex structures require complex solutions.

We travel through life and convince ourselves we’re comfortable. We tell ourselves this is all we deserve. We base this on the fences and barriers we have built around us.

We build fences made out of our insecurities; our fears, our self-defined inadequacies, our lack of faith or our approval from others. Other fences get built to protect a broken heart, or to hide who we really are. Maybe we build a fence so we can’t be wrongly defined by society.

Board by board; wire by wire; higher and stronger the fence gets built. Thus; we live within the fences created.

A good reminder when we build fences around our emotions, is that it doesn’t just keep people away from us, it also keeps us from moving forward. Fences keep things in and inhibits us from moving forward. Like fences surrounding a prison, we become emotional prisoners.

Often, fences have a window that looks out at others. Every so often we peek out admiring those who appearfree.  They walk freely, run freely, love freely, seeminglywithout any walls stopping them.

How can I be like them?”Our window to the world opens in the fence WE ourselves have built.

What Now?

There is good news. It’s not all doom and gloom.

As physical fences can be torn down, emotional walls and barriers can be knocked down and overcome.

Yes, it will likely be difficult. Speaking from my own experience, it is and was a difficult and challenging process to go through. But, a necessary process.

In fact, it may well be very difficult at times and you may need help. If we tried each day to punch a brick or take a board off the fence, someday there would be no fence at all.

Even if the fence only becomes smaller, we’d still be better off. When the fences come down, we can be like those walking freely, running freely, and loving freely.

How?

How do we start dealing with the complex, difficult, and painful issues surrounding those emotional barriers in our lives?

.Im just going to say this and only because it relates to me and me only. This may not be you or you may not be in a place right know that reflects this.

Decide

First, you need to makea decision to start; a real decision. That is what I did. With fear and anxiety in making that difficult choice, it was a decision I needed to make. In fact, it was the only correct decision.

Identify

What are the fences or barriers made of?

A critical component is to identify what is keeping us a prisoner. Identifying and exploring what those barriers are helps to give us perspective, self-compassion and thus the catalyst to start the healing process. Remember, when you were born, you weren’t worried about building walls to keep from getting hurt. All that came later; much later.

Once we identify them, the work starts to destroy those false beliefs, and to get rid of them so that you can move forward in life. If we thinkwe’ve dealt with thembut have only done so on a superficial basis; we can easily fall back into them.  We revert to what is familiar to us.

You can’t escape from behind these barriers and move on in life if you keep retreating back into what is familiar.

This may not be an easy process, it certainly wasn’t for me. If you know you need to deconstruct these emotional barriers, remember you are not alone.

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Ask for help

A good therapist can help you put in the effort and work needed into tearing down emotional barriers; barriers that can hinder us from a more fruitful life.

Therapy can help us with:

  • rejecting irrational beliefs and self-defeating thoughts
  • learning how to become empowered
  • learning to identify and deconstruct harmful emotional fences

Remember, we are social beings; we were not made to go through life alone. There are plenty of people out there to support you and to be with you along this journey.

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Finally

My wish right now would be for all of us to move outside of our comfort zones.

I don’t know what may be involved to move you from your comfort zone” to that place where the magic happens. In reality, you may not be in the right place to start the work necessary to deal with the emotional fences in your life.

If that’s where you are, that’s okay. Tomorrow, however, may be your day. Regardless of where you are at the moment or where you want to be in the future, there is hope.

Fences are broken down one post at a time.

As I wrote in the beginning, our desire is to inspire others to: get outdoors; discover yourself; find inspiration.The hardest part sometimes is taking that first step to climb over your personal stumbling block.

Perhaps today, you can take that first step.

Thanks for reading!

Huge thanks to Glen for writing this and wanting me to help promote this post on The Unsanity. I feel it’s a perfect representation of what we all may feel from time to time. I think we can all learn something from this entry, so please, I hope you took the time to read this. NAME

The Heart and The Shape

I am working on a book, and I have been for quite a long time, if you couldn’t tell, and I’d really like your opinion on the inside cover/short description of what it is about. If I need to add anything, take anything out, work on anything. I’d really really love the feedback on this if you could. It’s nowhere near done, I have the first few chapters completed and written down, but no where near what I want to accomplish.

 

A NOVEL, BY KAYERAVYN [SMC] 2006-2012

Day1: Darklings.

 Darklings. What are Darklings? Well, we are figments of your imagination. The little tiny voice that’s inside your head telling you whether or not to live or die; that’s us. We live off emotions. We hunger for more. We are unlike any other voice. Don’t listen to us, we’ll probably kill you. If you want to listen to us, however, we speak the truth. We are able to take your soul, turn it inside out, and read you like a book. Welcome to The Heart and The Shape; where your dreams can come alive.

Dangling

Well, today has been interesting so far. Meeting went alright I guess; but people seriously have attitude problems here with doing this. If you don’t want to be a part of it, maybe you shouldn’t be a part of the company… That’s just my opinion really, but who am I to say anything.

Work is just becoming annoying to go to now; I love it, and I like the money I get for doing what I do, but I mean; I think I should get a raise to deal with these people we’re working with. We’re creating a company bible, which is cool and all, since I’m in charge and I like being in charge of people in a way; but no one is really… helping me. I have to print everything out, I have to do all the corrections, I have to organize the meetings.. when everyone has access to the drive in order to change procedures. Why can’t you make your own changes and print them out and just give them to me? Is that really so hard to do? Also, why do they insist on giving me a form letter to do when all they have to do is click print and print an envelope along with it and stamp it? Instead, no, they make me do it; like I don’t have enough to do as it is… I’m swamped. I’m taking a breather for the moment to write about this crap. My brain is SO boggled you have no idea. Anyone know how to deal with this? I mean everyone knows I’ve got a lot on my plate here, but they still continue to pile up work for me. Every weekend I go home with a headache from staring at the computer screen so long and I’m not liking it.

I hope the rest of the weekend goes alright. I’m really not in the mood to be let down any more this week, I’m so over it. I plan on watching Harry Potter all weekend and cleaning/laundry. There’s nothing else to really do except that or play video games and shit.. So what can I do? My other package still didn’t come in the mail; and it should have been here by now considering the last thing I ordered from them was at my place within 4 days. So why is this one taking so long :/ I just want it already. ..And I really need to stop buying things online. I have to save for car insurance constantly since I need to save up 650 by September already… this is going to suck majorly if you ask me.

I need a life-long pick me up.