C05P32 – Sweets, Headaches and Lies – MOKO Press presents: LeyLines, a Fantasy Adventure Comic by Robin Childs Skip to content
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C05P32 – Sweets, Headaches and Lies

C05P32 – Sweets, Headaches and Lies published on 12 Comments on C05P32 – Sweets, Headaches and Lies

Headaches? Really? Hitting the nail a bit on the head, don’t you think, Doctor?

So today I wanted to tell you about the biggest mental “whoa” moment that I had during my mini-vacation to Manitou Springs last weekend. We visited the Cave of the Winds, and they recently installed a multi-story ropes course that hangs out over the cliff side called “Wind Walker.” It looks like this:

And at this point I should probably mention…I am very, very afraid of edges. Not heights, mind you. Just the edges of heights. Doesn’t matter how far off the ground. I get frightened at the edges of cliffs, roofs, bunk beds…ladders, being composed entirely of edges, are a special little torture. So WHY, you might be asking, would I EVER want to get up on a course composed of tip-toeing on tiny platforms?

I felt like challenging myself that day. Or maybe temporary insanity. Possibly sun stroke.

And for most of it, I did okay. Right until the part where it hangs right over the massive sheer drop and, naturally, they installed all the most terrifying parts of the course there. Bits where there’s a single rope, and everything to hold onto with your hands is out of reach until you’re halfway across.

Cory, being more nimble and fearless, crossed it quickly. I…had a lot more trouble. In fact, I couldn’t get started. I kept putting my foot on the rope and being swallowed up by panic. The perfectionist voice roared up, You have to put your foot down on it correctly, absolutely perfectly, or you’ll mess up and you’ll fall and you’ll be a complete failure. If you don’t start out on the right foot, you might as well not start at all. Three times I put one foot on the rope, and three times I snatched it back. I almost gave up. I almost told Cory, “I can’t do it.”

Then I thought — do I want to look back on today, and have a list of new experiences, or a collections of risks I was too afraid to take?

So I put one foot in front of the other, and I didn’t focus on the steps. I focused on breathing in, and breathing out. I took it slow. I didn’t rush. In and out. One foot, then another.

And I made it to the other side.

Later, I went back by myself, and I did it again. And you know what? It was a lot easier that time.

There are always “reasons” and “excuses” for us not to live our lives. “I just don’t have the time,” or “I’m not good enough,” or “I have to take care of somebody else more than I need to take care of me.” There’s a million and one “reasons” why we can’t try something, or do something important for ourselves. Yet they all boil down to one thing: “I am afraid.”

I never want to live a life in fear.

How have you challenged yourself to overcome excuses and fears?

12 Comments

Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

Fear is a healthy thing. I don’t see any reason to not live with it. I don’t like heights so I will never go parachuting.
I don’t see the point of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane.
I’m not an adrenaline junkie, I’m not looking for the next thrill. If I want thrills, i’ll go to an amusement park which is relatively safe. 🙂

When I was a kid, there were now such things where I lived. But there was a stack of concrete plates and sections of a tower crane piled nearby, so they’ve made some kind of “wind walker”. With this in mind I’d definitely try the one you visited.

Sorry, it’s not about overcoming anything, just my memories.

I’m terrified of dogs and have…difficulty with heights. Not fear, exactly, and it seems to be entirely a visual thing related to man-made heights. Cliff? Okay. Stairs? Eek!

I’ve been working on the dog phobia for years. It’s really a phobia – I’m afraid of the mastiffs in WoW, leveling a worgen out of their starting zone involved stepping away whenever a player hunter showed up with their giant dog. I can learn not to be afraid of individual dogs, and I can make myself deal with an individual dog so I won’t be afraid of it if I can convince myself it is a good dog with a good owner and would never hurt or scare me. Since I sometimes get along okay with dogs, this means that some people around me have decided I’m not “really” afraid and I just “don’t like” dogs. This seems to have an inverse relationship with how good a dog owner they are. The cousin-in-law that has ludicrously well-behaved dogs and so I always make friends with them? Is impressed each time. My mother-in-law who just took in her flaky daughter’s pittbull that barks constantly and nearly took said daughter’s hand off a couple years ago? Yeah….she kennels it since I won’t go in the house at all otherwise… but next to the drink fridge.

My approach to the height problem is to remind myself that everybody else is doing it and take it slowly. It’s never seemed to have eased up, but at least I don’t let it stop me most of the time. Going down is usually easier than going up. Thus, I went up , over the bridge, down the side a bit, and then back over it all this summer with my dad.

I love the way you split that close-up into two panels. Something about that technique is just very effective for scenes like this!

How I handle my fears is really variable, but in quite a few cases, it went like this: I avoided said fear as much as possible until the consequences of doing so made me so incredibly angry at myself that I just, like, stopped. Particularly my fear of calling people on the phone, which cost me jobs and got me in financial trouble and messed up whole globs of things. Eventually I was so mad at myself that I just powered through with the anger and now it’s not something I’m really afraid of anymore! It’s not a good or effective system, but it…works?

I am however working off of this bad system by not waiting to get to the breaking point and pushing through fears by imagining all the worse things that will happen if I ignore it.

When I lived in Kalispell, Montana, there was a shortcut to work my (then) husband and I would take, an old train bridge over the river, in the middle of the woods, between nothing… But cut a mile off our trip (yeah, we walked… Not EVERYONE has cars). I could never cross it by myself, no matter how much I tried, and I don’t know why. I’m not afraid of bridges, not afraid of heights, not afraid of falling, knew there wouldn’t be a train? Just something about being able to see inbetween the planks of the bridge down to the river… Could never cross it by myself.

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