Fear - things that hold me back

Posted on July 17 2016

Last week I posted about playing netball again. I did it and survived. I actually loved it! Although I now am suffering pain in places I didn't know existed. Not really sure what I was so worried about really, but it got me thinking. 

Fear has held me back from so many things in my life and I'm sick of it.

Saturday night was my cousin's birthday and I was so excited to go. Hang out with my family, have a few drinks, relax and laugh. Until I realised that I was going to have to drive myself. Now, as most of you know, I'm nearly 38 years old. I have been driving for a long time, but I'm sh*t-scared of it. I hate it. With a burning haunting passion.

In order for the weekend to be fun and stress free, we decided that I would just go with the girls and my husband would stay home with our son - (sorry mate - but 2 year olds and outdoor parties/bonfires/camp outs aren't a good time in my opinion). That was fine until the logistics of it all hit.

I was going to have to drive. On a freeway. Unsupervised. *insert sweat, shakes, nervous poo*. This means overtaking, changing lanes, avoiding trucks and concentrating for hours. For some of you this is nothing, you probably do it every day, twice a day to go to work. Not me. My car does about 15km a week and I'm happy with that.

I've never liked driving. As a kid, even the thought of it would paralyse me with fear. I remember when everyone turned 18 and got their license on their birthday. I was so jealous that they were confident enough to do it. To just get in a car, on their own and explore the big bad world. If asked why I didn't have my license, I would lie and say 'oh, I don't need it, I prefer walking, or catching the train'. That was crap. Catching the train is almost second on my fear list, and don't even get me started on those friggin Myki things.

Driving isn't the only thing that I have been scared of.

As a kid I was scared of all the usual things, robbers, kidnappers, snakes and mice. My grandparents had a house at Torquay that we spent endless summers at. I would lay in bed at night waiting for a tidal wave to kill me.

As I got older, those fears remained, and actually heightened. (Except for the tidal wave thing, that kinda disappeared). I was followed home from school in my teens and had nightmares for years. I would go into my parents room in the middle of the night, terrified that he was going to come back and get me. That fear lasted decades, to the point where I could never stay home alone, until I had children, and I become the protector and not the victim.

My education suffered due to fear. I got into Social Science at Latrobe, studying linguistics, and two other subjects that I actually can't remember. Know why I can't remember? Cos I didn't go. I just didn't turn up. Because I was terrified. Of going to the wrong lecture theatre. Of getting lost on campus. I didn't know anyone, and instead of it being an opportunity for growth and experience, it became a private hell. I would leave the house in the morning, waving bye to my mum. She thought I was off to uni. Instead I hung out with my friend Marley, cruising around doing god knows what, avoiding any experience that put me out of my very very deep and squashy comfort zone. This turned out to be quite a costly exercise. You see I didn't know deferment was a thing. I didn't know that I didn't have to go to uni. That I could have contacted them and said, 'hey, I'm not quite ready for this, give me some time'. Instead I wagged for a year and ended up with a HECS debt. If I'd been studying then fine, I'd be happy to pay, but instead we were hanging out at Greensborough Plaza, shopping at Westco, dying our hair with frost and tip kits and playing Nintendo.

Fear is so debilitating. So limiting. I'm still scared of being home alone. I'm scared of walking into a party on my own. I'm scared of the airport. I'm scared of the Ring Road. I don't like doors that aren't clearly marked 'push' or 'pull' as I'm scared of looking like a di*khead if I do the wrong one. I love to sing, but I'm scared to do it in public. I'm scared of IKEA. I'm scared of the Pirate Ship.

I'm scared of bending over and letting out a sneaky fart.

I'm scared of mice. Of ordering at a restaurant as I always get the wrong thing. I'm scared of what people think of me.

I'm scared you are going to read this and think I'm an anxiety ridden chicken. I'm not. I'm pretty cruisy really, but we all have fears. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I'm not scared of spiders. Not one little bit. My BFF Rachel is petrified. So I kill her spiders. She disposes of my dead mice. (Yes I'm even scared of them when they are dead).

Find people that can be your crutch. Your fear buddy. That will take your hand and guide you through, won't hang sh*t on you for being a pussy and will high five you when you drive to the city for the first time. (Thanks Jade).

What are you scared of?


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  • Kylie Travers: July 19, 2016

    I use Uber now instead of driving. We only drive once every few months when we go interstate. I hate driving. I’ve been hit numerous times (like a bus pulling straight into me when I was in my own lane, a lady ploughing through me when I was IN the roundabout, a car smashing into me when I was parked in my car park at a shopping centre. I’m clearly invisible!) I try not to let it scare me, but the fact is it does because of my experiences.

  • Linda : July 18, 2016

    Hey Claire I’m with you hate the ring road overtaking and really hate driving at night it terrifies my I can’t see with all those lights and yet I’ve been driving for 30 yrs approx. as I’ve got older my fear has grown?

  • Renae: July 18, 2016

    Yes I am scared to drive long distances by myself the longest I’ve driven is 2 hours. My husband always drives and I dose up on travel calm and sleep. I get very nervous about travelling and leading up to a trip the nerves kick in and I get a bit OCD thinking something bad will happen. The tidal wave dreams yes I have them but they started as an adult and I get nervous sleeping anywhere near the ocean if on holidays because I think we will get washed away in the night. Bahaha to the sneaky fart!!

  • Kerrie : July 18, 2016

    OMG!!!! Claire, I can soooo relate to you. I have really bad driving anxiety. I’ve always been a nervous driver. I hate driving on freeways and have had many panic attacks. I’m also super scared of lots of other stuff too just like you so thanks for sharing Claire it makes me feel like I am not alone ?

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