Archives for category: Fear
When I was a girl, I loved the movie The Wizard of Oz!
The movie scared the beejebers outta me but I adored it, I loved Dorothy’s red shoes and often imagined myself clicking my heels while repeating the line “There’s no place like home!” It wasn’t just the bedazzled shoes, although I think I’d still wear a pair, it was the longing of her heart… was just so sad to me.

Throughout the movie there are many life situations and analogies which we could explore but for this article let’s look at the Cowardly Lion.

Wikipedia tells us about the Cowardly Lion as follows:

The Cowardly Lion is a character in the fictional Land of Oz created by American author L. Frank Baum. He is a Lion, but he talks and interacts with humans.
Since lions are supposed to be “The Kings of Beasts,” the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. Only during the aftereffects of the Wizard’s gift, when he is under the influence of an unknown liquid substance that the Wizard orders him to drink (perhaps gin) is he not filled with fear. He argues that the courage from the Wizard is only temporary, although he continues to do brave deeds while openly and embarrassedly fearful.
Hmmm how very interesting and how easily I can relate to this Lion!
How many of us live our lives in reaction to fears – Too many I would suspect!
Do we take enough time to look at the motives for our actions, are we aware of when we’re simply reacting in ways to avoid our fears?
Here’s an exchange from the movie which I love:
Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!
Cowardly Lion: You can say that again! Huh?
Much like the lion, I was very good at presenting bravado in the face of my insecurity. Perhaps I shared the Lion’s outward image of being scary and proud?
 More often than not I researched subjects in order to feel more secure, but never did I truly trust myself or have the confidence in my choices which I should have. What this ended up doing, in my personal life, is to frustrate me to the point where I gave in and truly just followed the flow of life, avoiding the things I feared. I didn’t actually choose my path and seek to achieve it authentically, I took advantage of situations and redefined myself based upon what I perceived as the perspectives of others.
I thank God everyday that this has changed, now I am consciously aware. With each breath of my body I am ALIVE in the knowledge that God has a plan for my life and I am not in control.
Do you ever feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore?
I certainly did when I walked into my first 12 Step meeting, but as with the Lion, I soon realized that within the rooms there were people who understood me.
Until I began doing a personal inventory, I hadn’t realized how much I had been floating through life. When I did, I became ashamed. My feelings of inadequacy all floated to the surface at once!
Talk about overwhelming….I was desolate…sober but desolate.
In time, by becoming reacquainted with my emotions and feeling worthy of them, I learned how to cope. Eventually I learned to recognize my strengths and gifts, while being mindful of my weaknesses.
Through this, my eyes opened to the fact that each of us are adequate in God’s eyes.
This alone gave me courage.
True courage to live and experience…both the “good” and the “bad”, knowing that God is driving my bus and that He loves me is enough.
Courage wasn’t something I had to find, I simply had to turn to God and it was there, ready for the taking.
And so today I lift up my cuppa coffee in toast to the makers of The Wizard of Oz for putting out the message which so many years later I finally understand.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (my 5 year old’s favorite verse!!)
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
As Bill Sees It – AA 
When fear persisted, we knew it for what it was, and we became able to handle it. We began to see each adversity as a God-given opportunity to develop the kind of courage which is born out of humility, rather than of bravado.
Who knew that my blog was so important to me?
The unthinkable happened last week…….my blog was inaccessible!!!
I had been moving it from Blogger to Word Press and to begin the process I moved the domain name to a different host. Thinking I had it all in order, we came up to cottage country where the Internet is the elusive prize for some rest and relaxation.
When I had some free time I went online and wrote my last post, hit publish and it happened!
I sat there facing a screen which was definitely NOT my blog.
I’ll save you all my non-techy explanation and sum it up by saying that I had moved the domain name but not the historical content.
Why did I ever think that I could do this by myself?
Because that’s just how I roll.
I’m that girl who convinces herself that she is perfectly able to climb Mount Everest with no safety gear, I’ll simply chart my path and have at ‘er!
In the past I was able to accomplish my goals, by deeply researching all of the information I would plan my projects from start to finish and execute them well.
Alas, I am not that girl anymore. You would think after living with this brain injury for a year and a half I would get that…..that my expectations of myself would be different.
And yet sometimes they’re not. I often find myself focusing upon what I can’t do rather than what I can, this leads to HUGE episodes of anxiety and stress.
I’m not saying it happens daily, in fact I’ve done lots of meditation on focusing upon what I can do. For example, last year when our family travelled here, I was only able to remain upright for an hour at the most. Then I would excuse myself from family time and go lie down. This year I am grateful that I can participate to a much larger degree.
It seems to happen most often when I am facing something which I haven’t since the accident. I was quite computer savvy before, not sayin’ I was a true techy girl but I certainly would have been able to follow the instructions in this case. So on that day when I couldn’t follow what appeared to be simple instructions, all of the changes in my life seemed to crash in upon me.
What did I do?
How did I handle it?
I didn’t hide.
I didn’t give in and lose myself in a panic attack.
There was no trip to the liquor store.
I wasn’t nasty to my husband or children.
Frankly at first I just let it go, I prayed about it and decided there was nothing I could do until I returned home. My focus remained where my hands were and my thoughts didn’t return to my site. 
It wasn’t like I was stiff-upper-lipping it, it just didn’t bother me anymore. Hubby arrived here and we’ve been having a blast as a family…although I wish my 7 year old would get her little butt out of the entitlement stage she is enjoying.
Yesterday I checked my emails and saw an email from the lady I’ve hired to redesign my blog. Jessica from The Frilly Coconut Design Shoppe was checking in to see if I was ready to begin the process. Of course instantly I blahh blahh blahhed the situation to her like some crazy person.
Jessica had me settled again in a few minutes, she took over the situation and within a few hours she had my blog back up and running!!!!

I wonder if Jessica was ready for my profuse thank yous…..from now on I will always picture her in a Wonder Woman costume!
Once again I gave my worries to God and the answer came without my interference!
And in the time when the blog was down, I was contacted by a high school friend I haven’t seen in years who is seeking sobriety. He had read my blog and felt he could contact me….he thanked me for being transparent and showing him an example of a “fun” sober life.
If I had been preoccupied with fixing my blog, I may have missed that.
Oh finally a free day!!!
A fantastically prearranged day of NOTHING!!
I just love taking a vacation day from work and making NO plans. I should do this more often, certainly if each time it could be a lovely spring day like today.
After a long, cold, snowy winter it feels like a gift is given when the sun is warm enough to go outside without a coat, to bring the bikes out of the shed.
Hubby’s arrived home from night shift with my beloved coffee and we have zero responsibilities to comply with today.
I love these days where family memories are made.
The girlies are awake, and enjoying having very relaxed Mommy and Daddy just hanging around the house.
I’m actually enjoying getting my 5 year old daughter S ready for her morning of Senior Kindergarten, having my 3 year old C  beg to go to school with her.
Holding my 3 year old, soothing her as she sobs deeply at the unfairness of life before school years.
Bye bye darling S , have a great day….no you’re not going to the sitter’s today, we will be picking you up from school, yes we’re REALLY home!
Oh hurry Daddy is ready to go walk you to school.
Sighh, a sip of coffee while cuddling with my 3 year old C.
A very slow morning ensues, lovingly lazy interactions of a husband, wife and young daughter.
Plans are made for the afternoon when S returns from school.
Family time to be enjoyed, perhaps even a new experience or two as a hike is on the agenda.
11:14am the phone rings, it’s the babysitter.
Hello there.
 I’m a bit confused by the call as she knows the girls are with us today but it’s always great to have some chatty time with this woman who has become so special in our lives.
This woman whom we love, who is helping our youngest to perfect potty training before school in September.
The one who gets to hug my babies while I’m at work.
The one who they love as much as we appreciate her.
What’s that you say? You want me to sit down?
Okay, there was a situation there this morning….Thank goodness the girls were HOME….one of the other little girls fathers arrived to speak with you?
OK, so not invested yet but waiting for it…
That 14 year old boy, the son of a “helper” at your daycare with Asperger’s ….yes I know him.
Wait, what did you say?
Little daycare girl’s brother told her father he witnessed WHAT?
14 year old boy….whom I was told was NEVER alone with ANY of the daycare kids, whom I’ve never seen alone with them…..
he touched the little girl?
Bile is rising in my throat, frantically I look for MY little girl ….gasping for air as hubby walks to me, concern in his eyes.
Ok so Father of little girl, the policeman is letting you know so you are prepared for the investigation…..that all the daycare children will be spoken to….that the parents should be notified?
Yes I hear you saying you’re not claiming that my little babies were ever left alone with Him, that you’re not saying that MY BABIES have been touched….BUT!!!
A loud ringing in my ears as I get off the phone, hyperventilation is just a breath away as I recount the story quietly to Hubby….Oh Hubby…..Dear Lord I am not prepared for this, HELP.
The cold sets in, my body doesn’t move unless necessary.
 I am still.

 Frozen in this fear as Hubby and I stare at each other surrounded by the sounds of our 3 year old gift playing.

Visions of TV talk shows where they say that parents often lead the child into recounting a situation incorrectly because of the way they phrase their questions, by their fears….
Deep breath.
“Hey C, come to Mummy for a sec”
“What Mama”
“When you’re at Babysitters, who pulls down your pants”
waiting, praying for her to say Babysitter and look at me like I’m crazy
“14 year old boy does when we play”
Time stops.
My blood feels cold.
Smiles plastered on our faces we stop the conversation and Hubby calls C over to play with him.
She is delighted.
My body remembers to breathe as my mind is filled with her smile, her laughter, the echos of what was our worry free day.
I call my sister, tell her, beg her to HELP.
She can’t change it.
I call the Children’s Aid Society, needing her to see someone who knows what this is, this horrific, dark thing which I don’t want.
I don’t want to ruin her by speaking about it with her in the wrong manner.
I don’t know what it is.
We can go over there immediately, they will be waiting and will make sure C is comfortable, she will enjoy the experience I’m assured, she will not have any idea that this DARK thing is being discussed.
They will want to talk to our precious 5 year old after school as well.
Our lazy family afternoon won’t happen, we won’t be going hiking.
Will this be our family memory instead?
This post was written in response to the prompt from The Red Dress ClubThis week’s Red Writing Hood assignment is to write – fiction or non-fiction – about a time when you/your character took a detour. Where had you intended to go and where did you end up?
Our family just spent a week at Walt Disney World, arrived back home to the snow, cold and chores of unpacking. We had amazing friends who took care of Miss Coco Bean and our driveway was miraculously clear when we pulled in!!
My brain feels numb today, it did often throughout our trip but it was easy to ignore it because the entire focus was on the children, their happiness and living truly through them.
This trip was well planned for my physical and emotional limitations, we stayed right on the Disney resort at Carribean Beach Resort which was AMAZING. It is a lovely, peaceful resort with lots for the girls to enjoy and also allowed me the ability to go back to the room when necessary.
So we began our trip with the flight, the girls had never been on a plane and it was just hilarious to hear our youngest yell out “when are we blasting off?” when waiting for the take off (she was listening to the music on headphones).

We arrived at our resort and explored the beach, pool and got into our room. What is this? It faced the lake, was larger than expected……hmmm a room upgrade?? YES!! Wow this was amazing to us, had never happened in our travels before and was going to make life even easier because it was right beside the main pool/restaurant area. SCORE!
We were all exhausted from travelling so decided not to go to a theme park that day but to stay and relax at the resort before meeting our friends who happened to be at Disney that day for dinner.
Dinner was so much fun, there was Jesus talk, laughter, current events conversation and tips and tricks for our vacation.
Next we went to Downtown Disney and explored!!
As I am typing this I am realizing how exhausted I am, my brain is in numb mode.
My house is a wreck already and I am running on empty on so many levels.
I think I will blog on this trip over time, there are too many pics to share at once anyway 😉
I’ll just post the main points which I am currently pondering.
1 – pre-planning in life helps but doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly
2 – I’m not perfect but asking for help is easier than I thought. I was in a wheelchair all week and frankly in almost all the pics I am standing. It is like I still won’t accept that I have limitiations right now, I just want to be whole again. I need to deal with this, I’m not asking for help enough and often had to leave the park because I didn’t admit when I was overdoing it.
3 – Experience often jades us. Our kids were there in the most magical place on earth and they didn’t appreciate it by the 3rd day. All they wanted to do was go to the hotel pool. Our expectations were that they would be so excited all week and yet that was unrealistic.
There is more but right now I’m stuck on #2. Here is the only pic I have of me in the wheelchair.
Please don’t get me wrong, it was a joyous time with my husband and children, at times I felt the glow of a child’s excitement within me. I loved staying in a room with all of them, being able to see them sleep.
It’s just that until today I hadn’t thought about this. How angry I am that I don’t look or feel like I did a year ago. I know that my spiritual growth has been amazing but I just wish there was a light at the end of the tunnel to shoot for. Thus far the Dr’s have said time and therapy will work but I’m not seeing any amazing transformations thus far.
So I have to work on acceptance and trusting in God today.
Just for today, any man can fight the battles of just one day.
Oh and I have to share a few of my favorite pics 😉
First is our eldest in the pool
Next is our youngest after a Bibbity Bobbity Boo Princess Makeover
It seems to me that life is an amazing journey and I’m not unique in my anger and fears. But that I must remember to accept what challenges I face and acknowledge how blessed I actually am.
I’m a countdown kinda girl, always was. As a child the day after my birthday I’d ask “how many days until my birthday?”. I love countdown tickers and the visualization they provide. It must be a part of my “planner” trait. Of course I must say that this does NOT apply to my menu planning, I hate that and never stick to it. Could that have to do with my issues with cooking? I digress.
So we have talked about taking a vacation with our 2 girls for years. Actually to be truthful we’d seen so many friends take their kids on vacation with them that our private mocking of them began to seem like it was wrong…gasp!
Two years ago we decided to take a trip which of course didn’t include the girls. Where to go? hmmmm. Hedonism obviously!!
Perhaps you haven’t heard of this resort in Jamaica? Well it’s adult only, clothing optional all inclusive, 4 star resort (totally not 4 stars in our opinion).
When we arrived at this resort it was like being handed a freedom card. Free to be/do whatever you felt like. Everything goes here. For us this was intimidating of course but we said “what’s the worst that can happen??”
Ok I know that you may be interested but this blog isn’t about Hedo 😉
We had planned to take our girls with us on our first family vacation this past September but it didn’t work out due to Car accident stuff (injuries and finances). Sooooo in October hubby throws out that he is booking our vacation for January. WHAT? HOW? omg I’ll have to travel.
I went deep into my dark space, that space where I feel out of control, where the anxiety which hides in me grabs me by the throat and tightens the grip. Over a week of discussions we realized that I can do this. Hubby felt that with all of the changes in the past year due to my limitations the girls could really use the break.
Where would we go? What makes sense to my limitations and will be amazing for the girls?
Walt Disney World!!!!
Yippeee, time to begin a countdown right???? This is the greatest place on Earth right???
I’m so not feeling it.
The girls and hubby are totally stoked, we leave on Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing the 3 of them enjoy it but the FEAR is overwhelming when I really think about it. I go in circles in my mind of the risks involved with travel, being in crowds….on and on with illogical PTSD related thoughts
Prior to the car accident I traveled for work often, all across Canada and enjoyed it. I loved the flying process, knowing that once I was on the plane I would be served in little cups and could sleep well until I arrived. I loved planning the transportation to our branch offices, the hotel rooms etc.
Now here I am with a wonderful vacation planned, dinners booked, events for the girls arranged, wheelchair for me and I know that we’re staying on the Disney site so when I’m exhausted I can leave everyone at the park…….and all I feel is FEAR, anxiety. I already had sleep issues but now it’s worse.
So what do I do?
I’m just keeping my thoughts where my hands are, living for just today. Isn’t it funny that even with something really good I’m having to use my tools to deal?
It’s working. I’ve been avoiding this blog because I just didn’t want to think about it but putting it on paper will help me remember this in a month.
So we will leave Saturday for Disney and I’ll be in an AA meeting and a church service at Walt Disney World on Sunday!! How cool is it that there are meetings and churches??
Today I’m packing, organizing and prepping the house for the dog sitter.
Oh and the old me would never have agreed to this, my selfish self “couldn’t” have done it. Today I’ve seen my DR and physiotherapist for advice, planned all my routes back to the room and honestly am entering into this with an open heart….for my family.