I'm not exactly the bravest person I know. I once got off a roller coaster in middle school with a bunch of friends because I was convinced I was going to die. I was never a safety officer in elementary school, but I've more than made up for it in my adult life. I research safety records; I stay on top of recalls; I'm paranoid of food contamination in my kitchen. Basically, I'm neurotic.
Before the fire I was afraid of some things- like flying. I once had a panic attack flying back to Boise from Virginia Beach in mid-air, and I felt so lucky they were looking for people to give up their seats that night for the oversold flight from Chicago to Boise. They even paid for our hotel, which seemed ridiculous since I felt like they were doing ME a favor. But that was just one time, and overall, my fears were pretty well managed.
I try to let go of my fears, remind myself that the odds are in my favor that the day is going to end just as happily as it started. But really, who starts off their day thinking they are going to return to their home in flames? That was the least of my worries the morning of August 25.
I try to remember that I'm not in control, which is really hard for a person who, well, likes control (I had some examples, but I decided you would all really think I was nuts!). But the reality is that letting go only helps so much. I still have thoughts that seem to also be out of my control. What if this restaurant has tainted lettuce? What if someone comes into the mall and opens fire? What if a fire starts tonight while my husband is gone and I can't get out of my room to get my son? And if he sleeps with me, what happens if I die in my sleep?
I recognize the irrationality of my fears.
It doesn't stop me from having them.