When placed in circumstances I don’t like (tight spaces, heights, flying, the dark, any or all of the above), I glue my bravest smile in place (well, sometimes I tear up first), even as it feels pallid. My breathing is shallow, my hands sweat, and my shoulders tremble. My back hunches, my arms are crossed. What I really want to do is curl up into the fetal position, barricade myself away and have someone else take care of me. But I’m a self-respecting adult (most of the time), albeit a scaredy-cat. So I’m usually able to talk myself out of hysterical reactions.
It’s not easy to continue to function and move forward as if you know no fear. But, letting it in allows it to grow new and thorny tentacles. I’m not prepared to give my fears that much latitude or breathe life into something that will use that breath to extinguish who I am, along with my ability to reason.