I recently was invited to a party which I was fearful
to attend because I did not think I knew a lot of the
other guests, so when the host who happens to be a special
friend asked if I would be coming, my response was, I値l
try my best to be there.
It has become very clear to me that I have hidden behind
that little apostrophe mark for too long. It is such a
safe word, as it makes me sound like a nice person, but it
keeps me from having to commit. I値l
try, I値l see, and I値l
think about it are examples of how I made excuses to mask
the fear and anxiety I have of so many things. It is
becoming clear to me lately that I used my Mother as my
security blanket. Having her to care for in a way was a
solution for me to stay in the safe "I'll do it one day"
I lived my life feeling like a square constantly trying to
fit into a circle. I would watch and admire others, but
could not get the courage to say I WILL. Most people
thought I was hard on myself, or not confident, or just
After all, I was so funny and outgoing. . . who ever would
have thought I was extremely anxious? Yes, I have had
anxiety issues since I was a child.
Sadly, it was not something
understood years ago, and it was easier emotionally for my
parents to protect me versus forcing me out into the
world. I heard a lot of "Donna can't do that," and when
I was scared it was ok for Me to not have to go. I so
understand they were trying to protect me, as no one likes
to see their children hurting.
Hiding behind the apostrophe and being allowed to avoid
was my normal, but it was making me sad, as I wanted to venture
and try. Staying safe in "I値l" was actually making me
ILL. It is remarkable how moving that apostrophe can
change that little word and having the WiLL to add just
one letter can change the meaning completely. I knew it
was time to say goodbye to the past and do my best to work
on the anxious feelings. Anyone that suffers anxiety knows
it is a silent paralyzing pain that most don稚 know you
have or even can understand.
With a racing heart but a smile on my face, I attended the
party which I was trying to avoid out of fear of not
fitting in. I had the most wonderful afternoon, and I was
wrong in my assumption I would not know anyone; I
actually reconnected with people I had not seen in a very
long time, and I also met some wonderful new people.
a beautiful day, and again I would have lost out on a great
memory had I listened to my fear and remained in the
"I値l" mindset. I am blessed my friend pushed me to say
yes. Sometimes you must know you cannot do everything
alone and you need help.
I continue at times to hide behind the apostrophes of my
life. I have a long way to go and lots of fights with
anxiety to get through for sure. I have a list of things I
want to try to do, and some of them I WiLL do soon and some
may take a little more work. I'm still fighting to fit into
the circle more comfortably, but I am no longer as afraid
of venturing out as I once was.
I share my story of the anxiety and insecurities I have to
inspire others. I believe each of us has fears that hold
At times we all need a cheerleader to remind us we can do
it. Perhaps one person will relate to this post and know
they are not alone, and I can be their cheerleader as my
friend was and remains mine.
I am blessed to have many strong people in my life who
have gone through things that I could not even imagine. I
watch them with deep admiration as they stand up and say
will" every single day. When I feel scared of trying
something or going somewhere out of my comfort zone, I
think of them and their courage and I know what I am going
through is nothing compared to their journey.
Each day that passes and that I write about in my journal
will be history of my story to be left behind. Reading
back on some of the pages of my life, I had a lot of
"I値l try" days, and it makes me sad that I
was so afraid to peek around the apostrophe mark and that fear
was keeping me ill. I am facing the fear and attempting things I
never imagined possible. I still get anxiety, but I try
hard not to let it overcome me and to talk it out with people
who care, and if I need help stepping into a moment of
fear, I ask for help, but I go!
I am 50-something, and I truly want these to be the best
days of my life; each day I will make the effort to not
let fear and anxiety control me. I am throwing away the
apostrophe mark because the journey of trying to say I
WILL to new things, and learning feels GREAT, and while at
times it's scary, it's even more exciting!
I thank my very special cheerleader who I feel got me
through a major breakthrough, and I applaud the many
wonderful strong women in my life whom I watch and admire,
and I am thankful for each day . . . together let's stand up
and cheer I WILL!
* * * *
Donna Ryan and has
always thrived on inspiration--she loves reading it
everywhere she can find it. She is in her 50's and has been married
to her husband for 30+ years. Together they raised
their now-25-year-old son; it has been a journey with many
twists and turns. She started her website while
caring for her mother, and has continued with it after her
caregiver role ended. Visit her weblog at http://www.50plusstickingtogether.com/index.html