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Monday, July 4, 2016

Q&A - Phobias Shmobias

List a few phobias you have. When and how did you discover you had these fears?
By definition a phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of  or aversion to something. I don't think I have an irrational fears... though everyone probably says their fears aren't irrantional. In my life I've tried to confront my fears to get over them, and so far it's helped but there are still some things that I'm little scared of.

And a few is three (or thereabouts) - I think I can do that.

So now... in no particular order...

Needles

This was a HUGE one growing up. Just the thought of someone stabbing you with a sharp piece of metal. I mean, no kid in the world would say "Yes please," and I was definitely not one of those kids.

I remember as a child my brother - who is four years older - had to get allergies shots, and I'd see little pin pricks on his upper arms, and they essentially looked like a rash, but when I found out what they were from, I didn't care for it a bit. Thankfully I didn't have to get allergy shots, but of course over the years I had to cross paths with a syringe or two. I remember as a kid, they had to take blood from my thumb, and I think I thought needles looked scary. I was crying hysterically, and I think my dad held me, trying to calm me down, and then I saw the amount of blood they took from my thumb (at this age I didn't know blood ciculated throughout your body), I was stunned... like "All that from my little itty bitty thumb?"

As I got older, it didn't get any better. I had to get the flu and other vaccinations that you had to get as a growing child. I hated them all... especially since they left your arm all sore. Did not want, No bueno.

It wasn't until high school that I decided I was going to confront my fear. We had a blood drive every Christmas and Easter (or for the non-holiday people - December and April). You got to get out of class which was a plus, but I thought "Okay, if I can do this on my own terms and not because I have to... but because I want to... then that should be fine." And I wanted to. Donating blood helps people, and my brother already donated a lot, so I thought "LET'S DO THIS!"

They set up in the library. After you did the screening process, they called you up and laid you out comfortably on one of the tables (usually meant for studying), and prepped your arm for the needle. I remember thinking I wanted to see the needle going in my arm but then decided against it. They drapped a cloth over my arm where the needle was and gave me what I think was the rubber cozy that went over the handle of crutches... where you hold on to them and steer. They told me to rotate it in my hand every 3-5 seconds and squeeze... and do that repeatedly. Since I was confronting a fear (and had a needle 'jammed' into my arm, I reasoned 4 was between 3 and 5, so mentally (and I think I even mouthed along with the mental counting) I would say "1-2-3-4-squeeze", squeeze the rubber thing, and repeat that until the attendant came back. The process itself doesn't take that long, but being my first time, I didn't want to fuck it up, and it felt like FOREVER!!! When I was all done, they bandaged me up (I liked that I got to pick out the color of my bandage), and sent me off to recovery where I got juice and cookies and all that to get my blood sugar back up.

The first time I donated, my arm hemmorhaged (which just means the skin was all dark and icky for a bit, not like a volcano of blood errupted from my arm... that sort of happened the second time I donated and the bandage was stuck to where the puncture mark, and when I removed the bandage, I sort of reopened the wound, and blood started to trickle out).

Not cool.

I'm better with needles now than I used to be... though I haven't had the smoothest rides when it comes to needles. I had a dentist once (a new dentist at the time) who knew that I had a 'fear' of needles hide the needle behind his back and asked me to lay back and open wide. I told him to let me see it - since around this time I had to SEE the needle and (if possible) watch it go in so I could prepare and zen out when it actually happened. I had to ask him to show me the needle several times telling him I needed to see it in order to take the novocaine shot, and he was rather insistent I just relax and open my mouth. At that point, I was thinking "Listen Jackass, if someone is afraid of needles, hiding it and surprising them with a stab in the mouth is not a good plan."

I think I'm also allergic to metal somewhat. I had an IV in my arm one time due to dehydration (though the ER doc still wanted to do a rectal even though all other tests came back okay, and I told him HELL NO). After receiving the liter of fluid and peeing in a cup for them, I had to leave the IV in just in case they needed to give me meds. My arms was starting to get sore and bruisey, and finally when I was set free, I spent a good chunk of the day grumpy.

Oh, and let's not forget the time I tried to donate platelets. Dear gawd the pain!

At this point, I had started going to the local blood center where I live to donate. I remember asking about the chairs in the corner, and they said that was for platelet donation. So one random day I thought why not. The process takes about two hours. They set you up with a mini-DVD player to have something to watch while the machine cycled through taking your blood, sucking out the platelets, putting the non-platelets back in your body,.. sort of a lather, rinse, repeat kind of thing. I made it as far as choosing my movie and the first taking of blood. When they went for re-entry, my arm was not having it. There was a pressure, like a bubble-feeling, in my arm. They tried to fix the needle, but nothing was working. And that's when I found out I have deep veins. (Oh joy.) So they slapped an ice pack on both sides of my arm, wrapped it up, and sent me to the cantine where I had POG juice and cookies. I was warned it was going to bruise, and damn... if they weren't telling me the truth. I looked like a drug addict with the bruise that took up my elbow pit and then some. It was like that mark on Gorbachev's face was on my arm. And the bruise lasted a while. My mom freaked out, and I told her it was fine, but she still doesn't understand why I donate blood. I remind her that my brother does it, too, but she doesn't acknowledge that fact and focuses her confusion on me.

Oh yeah... and there have been times where I have donated blood and they can't find a vein (yeah, the deep vein thing) so they have to try various methods to make it rise up to the skin before they can put the needle in. And one time it was in, and I saw the blood start... then STOP... and I brought this to their attention. "Did you move?" No. I watched one tech move it and the blood started again but then stopped again. They found another guy who they joked had the magic touch, and he got it going. Thank gawd.

So yeah, even though I'm better with needles, our relationship has been a rocky one, so I'm not completely cool with them.

Being Alone/Loneliness

I've been single a while now, and as much as I still follow the "leaving myself open to love" and "I'd rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones" and being "true to myself" when it comes to finding some, being alone is starting to wear at me just a skosh.

I find that I need to take a break from people for a bit... mainly because it feels like they're all in relationships. Why don't I want to hang out with you today? Because today I don't feel like hearing about your significant other or seeing you two be all cutesy with each other or be around a constant reminder than I'm all alone.

I don't do that all the time, but once in a while it feels a little better to be alone than around everyone else that seems to have someone but me because there are times where - as much as I love them - that whole sensation of being alone even when  you're not alone creeps up, and I really hate that.

And then there are the people that suggest on how to go about dating or finding someone, and I've been heckled or 'corrected' or whatever about doing what I feel comfortable doing... but then I have stepped out of my comfort zone and done what has been suggested leaving myself completely open to the possibilities that this could work... only to have it blow up horrifically in my face.

I will eventually find that one person out there for me... the one that I gel with on that level... it'll happen. But until then, I'll just have to play the waiting game... and I am beginning to hate that game.

Failure

I talked about this before... about how I was on a path that seemed to have veered off somewhere, and I'm at a loss to find my way again, Aside from life forcing me to reverse/alter my course a bit, it's beena bit of a struggle to get back on track with life as well as my dreams and passions. I want so many things for myself, and I'm willing to work to get them, but I feel sort of stuck in my life, and as time wears on, I feel slightly hopeless and that I'll never get anything truly done or make any sort of mark on this world. I don't have to be popular or anything like that, but I want to make a difference... I want the world to know I was here, and that I contributed to its existence.

I think back on my life in comparison to others and occasionally play the "What if?" game. I don't do it often, but... it just feels like I've done nothing in my life (even though I know I have). I'll get over myself eventually, and these waves of failure come and go, but I wish they were feelings more of success and accomplishment.

Meh.

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae

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