1. Jury duty and small talk, definitely, but my jury duty is more having to go somewhere unfamiliar all by myself. The traffic, seeing nothing but strangers, and being anxious about what I’m going to eat if I’m there through lunch (all my annoying food intolerances). Now sometimes I’ll find myself anxious over things going on at work. I’ll have to talk myself out of having a full blown anxiety attack. Interesting that when I feel it coming on, if I start screaming at my boys for whatever, the anxiety subsides. I suppose the screaming distracts. My poor boys though. Although I’m sure they did SOMETHING to deserve a good scolding. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, Laurie!!

    • Laurie Stone

      I love that, Karen! Maybe I should’ve screamed at the lawyer, my anxiety would’ve subsided. A wonderful and unique approach. You also have a great Thanksgiving.

        • Laurie Stone

          The fact that I made note how young the defendant looked (he appeared about 19) also did me in. The prosecutor asked if that would make me sympathetic.
          I said no, but that’s all she wrote. They said thanks but no thanks.

  2. I have GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) so worry, fear, and tension are something I have to manage every day in almost every situation. A lot of people have anxiety disorders, and it’s more prevalent in women. Oh, joy. I find that mindfulness helps (zen buddhist meditations specifically) as does yoga. I also have to maintain a good eating and sleeping schedule, and I can’t overschedule myself. Thanks for raising awareness through specific examples. People who are “chill” have a hard time understanding, “What’s the big deal?”

    • Laurie Stone

      Karen, We live in parallel universes. I also work to keep my schedule productive but not stress-inducing. I do yoga and meditation. I find nerves hit me harder as I get older. Oh well. Part of it comes with being a sensitive person. What can we do?

  3. Lois Logan

    Once again, you have hit the nail on the head. I am with you in so many of those situations!!

    While I was having Cay, I kept saying to myself, “It’s only pain…it’s only pain, let it be, don’t fight it…” Maybe I should be applying this to fear as well.

    Fantastic piece.

  4. Great post, Lois. Jury duty freaked me out and yeah, the case was dismissed before we even got started. But at my age, I know I’ll get called again. I’m not so fearful on planes, but I don’t like worrying that they will be delayed. When I lived in Iowa, anywhere I wanted to go, almost, I had to connect. 99% of the time I made the connection–thank God I cam good at running with a handbag and a smaller bay and reading airport signs!! Having people love my fiction is full of fear as I rewrite and rewrite and wonder if anyone will even read my stuff. But I know Gilbert would say PRESS ON. So I do. THANKS FOR THIS, Beth

    • Laurie Stone

      I agree, Beth. Elizabeth Gilbert is a great teacher. I’m about to market my first novel so I’ll need all the inspiration from her I can get. Thanks for reading!

  5. I have much the same list of anxieties. I am (I think) basically a friendly person, but I’ve never been an outstandingly confident one, so I find speaking in public difficult. In a past job I had to do it every now and again and it always meant about three weeks of anxiety beforehand. Funnily enough, on the actual day, I usually found that if I could get through the first couple of minutes, I eventually seemed to run out of adrenalin and began to calm down.

  6. Yes, acknowledging fear can sometimes take away its bite. As humans we can’t eliminate fear, but I like the idea that we can learn to turn it into fuel.

    • Laurie Stone

      Suzi, Yes, I found that technique does take away the bite of fear. Maybe in the end its about self-acceptance, not fighting who we are.

    • Laurie Stone

      Carol, You and I must be twins. I also have a nervous mother and doctor’s offices make me lose my mind. Have no idea why, but they do.

  7. I nodded in agreement with all of your fears, except the doctor’s office. So far I’m good there, especially since I’ve been a pharmaceutical representative. I don’t think I would like having an MRI. That would kick in some anxiety. However, the jury duty one had me too. I felt like I was a criminal! It was horrible and they were mean.

    I do agree that it’s ok to acknowledge our fears. That alone makes me feel better. Heck, everyone is probably fearful of something.

    • Laurie Stone

      Lori, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one. I’m not sure why the doctor’s office traumatizes me, but it does. As for an MRI, forget it. They’d have to knock me out for hours. Get claustrophobic just thinking about it. Thanks so much for reading!

  8. It was a tremendous epiphany for me when, at 46, I suddenly realized I could make fear my friend. I jettisoned all of the notions of pushing through it and on the other side of it lies freedom 🙂 and just learned to embrace my fear and dance with it.

    • Laurie Stone

      I agree, Carla. There’s no way around fear. Instead we must go through it to grow. Thanks so much for reading.

  9. Neurotic since forever. Anxiety, fear, jitters, panic. Yep, I’ve got all these things. I’d add grocery store. Too many choices, packed aisles, too many mistakes in buying the wrong thing waiting to happen!

    • Laurie Stone

      Hi Rosemond, Grocery store? Interesting. I can see that. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one with the others. Thanks for reading.

      • Laurie Stone

        Linda, Sometimes I think if I worked on a plane (where I’d be busy), I’d be fine. Its having too much time to think which gets the hamster wheel going. Maybe facing our fears is the best answer. Glad you can go into grocery stores again!

  10. Dentists – I always feel so violated and I’m waiting for them to tell me how many new fillings I need etc (the funny thing is I worked in the dental field for 15 years – it’s a lot easier being the one sitting behind the chair rather than the one lying in it waiting for the drill to descend) I also hate parties and small talk – give me one on one with a friend any day. I do try to ride the fear out these days but I still avoid it if I can (I’m a bit of chicken I’m afraid)

    • Laurie Stone

      Leanne, I also try and avoid fear, but recognize it when its there. The only good thing is it feels so good when it subsides.

  11. This was a really great post. Something I needed to read. On top of everything you listed, here’s another one for you…. I have two sons, 19 years old and 11 years old. I now have a newborn daughter. I’ve always wanted a daughter and I’m loving every minute of having her. But everyday I think about her being like the only child and not having someone closer to her age or a sister. And since I’m older now, I’m afraid of what will happen to her when I’m gone. I know these feelings are natural, but I shouldn’t be having them everyday.

    • Laurie Stone

      Nakeya, Since your daughter is newborn, these are normal feelings. Your daughter will grow up and have lots of friends, not to mention uncles, aunts and cousins! They will all be with her, as will you. She’ll always be the cherished youngest — not to mention only daughter.

  12. Definitely small talk! Elevators aren’t my favorite, but I usually jump off it gets to full and I always stay near the front never the back. I just stay home!

    • Laurie Stone

      Beth, With elevators, I’ve learned to stay toward the front on the side. Its hard to be a small female in this world. I’m glad I’m not the only one about small talk! At times its not bad. Other times its torturous.

    • Elevators definitely do it for me! I NEVER want to be on those things alone, but I don’t like them to full either. My worst nightmare is getting stuck in an elevator.

      • Laurie Stone

        Darlene, Getting stuck on an elevator would be scary, but being stuck on a full elevator would drive me insane. Too many people! Glad I’m not the only one.

  13. I love the conclusion that the issue is more the fear of the fear then fear itself! That’s what creates all the anticipatory dread and catastrophic thoughts. Sounds like a great book you read

    • Laurie Stone

      Jennifer, I love how Elizabeth Gilbert says how fear can’t choose the snacks or music along the way. Fear has to stay quiet in the backseat. Love that and its actually helped me.

  14. Airports (not aeroplanes though), large overheated indoor shopping centres or department stores, jury service, doctors/hospitals & underground trains can get me in a tizz with panic … I think it’s worse if somewhere is too warm and “airless” – a sort of claustrophobic feeling but small areas don’t bother me. Working on overcoming the feelings though! 😊 You’re not alone!

    • Laurie Stone

      Linda, Yes, “airless and windowless” places really get me going. I have a hard time with those. Thank God I’m not alone with these. God, my list is getting embarrassing!

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