Thursday, April 26, 2012

Conquering Fear

My fear has a name: Mottephobia. That's the fear of moths.  It has another name at the moment: Miller Moths*.  We're being invaded by the nasty little bastards.  Millions... okay, probably more like hundreds, but it feels like millions... of them have hit this town.  And they're insidious.  Right now, it's beginning to rain and they're scurrying for any hiding spot they can find.  Which means, any hole or dark place.  You know, like my hair or my ears or my mouth.  Either that or they just fly blindly--smashing into whatever happens to be in their flight path.  Like my face or my arms.

Right now, it's hell out there for Mottephobes.

Or rather it would be hell for me if I hadn't worked my ass off to get rid of this irrational fear.  Last night as I stood smoking with my husband under the carport, as dozens of moths battered against me, I realized if this had been ten/fifteen years ago, I wouldn't be just standing.  I'd be screaming and running, waving my arms around my head like I was in a scene from Hitchcock's The Birds.

My family used to laugh at me - which certainly didn't help.  Lucky for me, my husband just shrugged and killed whenever I screamed and pointed.  Either that, or he was nice and let the ebil bastard bug outside.  He's good that way.  It's so much easier for a phobic who has someone around to chase away the scary when it flutters in your face.

Still, screaming and pointing when something so totally harmless comes at you is no way to live.  I wish I could give you all the formula for getting over a minor phobia like that.  (If you have a major phobia, please seek help.)  I don't even remember when I told myself I was going to get over it.  I just did.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  I still don't want them on me.  And I'm sure if I felt something crawling up my arm and realized it was a moth, I'd still scream.  But at this point, I'm a functioning phobic.

And that's how I need to approach my fear of failure with regard to writing.  Failing won't kill me anymore than a moth would.  Plus, holding onto all that fear is stopping me from enjoying my writing - like how fear of moths would stop me from enjoying being outside right now.  Either way, it's irrational and it needs to stop.  Or I at least need to get to a point where I can function within my fear.

Now I just need to figure out how to do it.

What about you?  What are you afraid of?  Have you ever tried to stop yourself from being afraid - at least to get to a point where you can function in the face of your fear?

*I'd post a picture of the miller moth, but I don't want to look at the damn thing every time I stop by my own blog.  :shudder:


  1. Good post!!

    When I was younger, I hated spiders. But since I've been to Virginia, I've expanded my fear to anything with more than 4 legs, LOL!

    Other than that, I don't really have any fears. Recently I've been more and more nervous about getting married and moving across the continent, but I think that's a wise fear, LOL.

  2. Yikes - I think I would acquire that moth phobia if there were that many (like the June Bugs that drive me crazy in June - big, gross bugs that hover wherever there's light - shivering just now thinking about them). And Natalie - I, too, hate spiders. Yuck.

    My real fear is the fear of heights - and nothing can get me past that!

    Great analogy for your writing, B.E. I especially liked: Well said -and I need to follow that advice ;)

  3. My most recent fear is of scorpions - I get invaded (well, one a week) this time of year.

    After trying various things, I found the only way to get rid of them (without *trying* to scoop them into a jar to toss outside) was to bash them. And once I discovered my silly cat playing with one, I got a lot faster at whipping off my slipper and swatting it.

    I still dread them, but I'm coping better. :-)

  4. Great metaphor! I definitely get scared about writing sometimes, and I just give myself a pep talk and try to move on.