Rolling in the Deep

I went caving last weekend. Not walking into a large open cavern that happens to be underground.  Walking into a fairly small hole in the ground where I couldn’t stand up completely, having to free fall down a rock face, only a single light attached to a helmet, black pits you can’t see the bottom of on either side of you… 

Fears I overcame: 

Going someplace with people I don’t really know – I hate to go places, anywhere really, without people I know or by myself.  Even in town, I don’t go to places or events if I don’t have a friend to go with.  I realize that’s pretty common, but it really bothers me.  I had a friend that convinced me to go, but she wasn’t going.  I had met 2 of the people that were going once or twice before.  But I didn’t really know anyone. That was a pretty big step for me personally.

I’m not afraid of heights, but looking down into a black hole that you can’t see the bottom of is scary whether you’re afraid of heights or not. Having limited places to step, most of which are over large holes that you can’t see the bottom of, and you imagine the black pit of despair… is a scary prospect when all you have to rely on are your boots and your hands.

Being scared of the dark.  I know its silly and childish, but I’m scared of the dark.  I have a very overactive imagination.  Walking in the night in the middle of the country, hearing all sorts of animals hooting and howling, knowing that there’s so many more animals that I *can’t* hear… makes my overactive imagination go into overdrive.  Every step I imagine that there’s a mountain lion, wolf, bear or even a serial killer right behind me, and I can’t see or hear them… is terrifying.  Camping in the middle of nowhere, not even 50 miles north of Mexico, made sleeping and getting up to go to the bathroom after dark very scary.   

Not being able to see what’s coming. Going down into a cave, in the dark, with only a single light attached to my helmet.  Not knowing what’s coming at the next turn, or being able to see very much around me other than what is right in front of me… that scares me on both a very real physical level, and also on a mental level, not knowing what things await me at the next step. And knowing there’s a very small passage to leave the enormous rooms.  It was an interesting dichotomy. 

When we reached one particularly large room with a big rock that all of us could sit on, we all rested and turned off our lights.  It was very dark, more black than anything I’ve ever experienced. And I sat there in the dark, not able to see my hand an inch from my face, completely encompassed by the soft velvety darkness. And I wasn’t scared.  

 It was a lot for me to get through mentally and emotionally.  But I did it, I’m very proud of myself.  Walking into an unknown that particularly scares me, overcoming some things that have terrified me my entire life, getting out of my comfort zone.  And discovering that some fears aren’t always as difficult to get over as you think they are. 

 

 

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