For the past two months, I’ve been putting off getting the flu shot. I never get flu shots, not because I’m over-confident in my immune system or because I have a vendetta against vaccines, but because I have a completely irrational fear…
I’ve identified that it’s a mental thing. The idea of something sharp and pointy squirting something into my body. It’s ironic, actually. Parvin — my heroine in A Time to Die — faces a lot of my fears, yet I still can’t face them myself.
Darkness, wolves, needles…these are three fears that have plagued me my whole life. And no amount of psyching myself out or prayer will eliminate them. But hey, that’s only three fears, which makes me one step cooler than Tobias Eaton (aka. Four) from Divergent. [grin]
I’ve come to terms with the fact I’m a wimp. Tweet this! (In my defense, though, I have veins smaller than sewing thread and I’ve had my fair share of traumatic experiences when getting blood drawn.) This week I had to get that stinkin’ flu shot because my sister’s having a baby in a month (yay! yay! yay!) and I want to be able to hold my niece without getting her sick.
I’ve officially had a nightmare a week about getting the flu shot. Naturally, the dream is much worse than reality could ever be. Once I finally reached the final day of procrastination, I started the mental pep-talk.
“Come on, Nadine, you’ve survived the flu shot four times already in your mind. This is no big deal.”
“Dude, Katniss had to survive the Hunger Games twice, and you’re complaining about a needle?” (I’d just finished re-reading The Hunger Games and I couldn’t bear to tell Katniss I wimped out over a shot.) Tweet this!
“It’s never as bad as you think it’ll be.”
“You’ve survived much worse.”
So yesterday I put together my support team — Mom, Dad, and Hubby joined me in the shot line. I kept chanting in my head, I’m an adult. I’m an adult. I’m an adult. Because I guess that convinces me I need to be stronger or immune to unfounded nerves.
All four of us piled into the little doctor room. “Who’s going first?” the nurse asked.
Pulling a Tris Prior, I said, “Me.” Not to be brave, but because I didn’t want to accidentally catch a glimpse of a needle going into one of my family members.
It took about twenty seconds. And it barely hurt. (Best nurse ever!) I walked out of that doctor’s office as if I’d scaled Mount Doom and destroyed the ring of power with my eyes closed. Then I went out for hot chocolate, fried pickles, and quesadillas. (You may think it’s a weird mix, but trust me…it’s hero food.)
I could write another entire blog post on serious fears — dying without having impacted the world, letting laziness interfere with intentional pursuit of life & God, etc. But for now, we’ll focus on the small trivial things. Those are victories, too. 😉
I really felt like a mini-hero for an afternoon. Despite the triviality of the obstacle, it took surmountable effort to face it head on.
So tell me…what things do you fear?
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