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Old August 24, 2000, 07:54 PM
Julie Jordan Scott
Posts: n/a
Default There is Fearing Fear and then there is...........

embracing fear and taking power over it....awesome line of posts, Michael. Thanks for bringing up the topic.

Fear gives us another context to shape our lives, another filter to peer through. I have experienced some pretty severe fear, and in embracing it have become EXTREMELY gutsy....(sometimes I scare my Mom to death, and my siblings wonder what happened to their mild mannered sister) but when you come face to face with...well.....its like this....

Fear enveloped me. "I will wait in the shadows and blow you away. I don't care if I have to spend a lifetime in prison, it will be worth it to see you gone!"

It was the voice of a client who has schizophrenia. For the second time in two months, one of my clients would rather have me in the morgue than in service to them.

My naivete was stripped from me. For five years I had tirelessly and fearlessly served the severely, chronically mentally ill population. The nature of my position required I work with those who were ordered by the court into mental health treatment: these were the clients who had been the most severely ravaged by one of several psychotic disorders. I never once, until this point, had stopped to think of the danger connected to being in relationship with these unique people.

As reality collided with my perceptions, I plummeted into the murky depths of the abyss. Seeking professional assistance, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I simply knew I was not my normal self. People noticed a change even in my voice. Fear reigned.

Paradoxically, by completely embracing my fear, becoming fully conscious of the darkness, I was inviting in the light. Accepting an invitation into the catacombs was also giving myself the gift of exploration. Saying yes to a leave of absence from my workplace, I had license experience the Fear-Courage cycle in its entirety.

Just as fear came in many surprising disguises, so did courage.

Taking a leave from my job, admitting to the need to completely embrace and get through the struggle was one of the most courageous acts I have ever taken. It created a complete divorce from my colleagues as I crossed the bridge from being a mental health provider to being a mental health consumer. Not one of the clinicians I practiced with could make the leap alongside me, holding my hand. I had heard about stigma, but it took enormous courage to actually experience stigma first hand.

My courage became my cloak and my shield as I took each therapeutic step as well. For example, at the heart of therapy is that I dive into the trauma to reconnect with it. My clinician lead me down the path to wholeness. I made the conscious decision to be stronger, tougher and more courageous than the fear that the death threats brought to me.

The longer I held the door open to courage, the stronger the courage became. As I became more conscious of courage, it lead to the study of my true life purpose. No longer did I have to fit into any one else's model or preconceived notion of who or what I was to be. The shackles of ordinariness where fear kept me hostage were now unlocked. With courage in my hand, my soul, and my being, I stepped into extraordinariness.

Its amazing sitting here co-workers who would not come with me on my journey see me now and shake their heads in disbelief at the new life I have created.

It takes all I have sometimes to not jump up and down with glee, and tell them how sorry I am that they remain stuck....guess all they need is a couple death threats, eh?

Now I welcome that feeling of fear, because I know it is my spirit urging me to the next level.

You can get the full story here

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