#SundayStills: Taking the #Plunge in Overcoming Fear


Over the weekend, I took a big leap in the first step to overcome my newly-developed fear of claustrophobia.

As many of my regular readers know, I was in a car accident last August. The short version is I got sideswiped by a semi on the highway. It took me nearly 2 months to get my car fixed and back on the road. However, when I got back on the road and started driving to work again, I began feeling claustrophobic whenever a vehicle is nearby like in the lane next to mine.

It was worse when I was driving along the narrow city streets. I was panicking while reflexively steering the car toward the other side of the lane. If I was in the left lane, I would steer toward the left side of the lane and vice versa if I was in the right lane.

It was official. I have a kind of claustrophobia – the kind where I feel like the lanes aren’t wide enough and the car in the next lane will slam into me at any moment.

I made a goal to try to conquer this fear in 2023. This past weekend, I took the first step. I took the “plunge.”

By the way, these were taken by my mom as I was in position to take photos while maneuvering a vehicle going 75-80 miles-per-hour.

In a previous post, I mentioned my mom has been battling anxiety and a touch of the winter blues. This gloomy and constant cloudy weather, it can get ya. She was dying to go out. Last weekend, we finally went out.

She wanted to drive my car but I told her I just got new insurance and don’t think it’ll cover a secondary driver. Best to let me drive. Besides, I told myself mentally, you need the practice, your fear, remember?

She agreed. I drove.

Before we left, I plugged my phone into my car so I’d have Google Maps on my car’s big screen. Along with Google Maps, I also pulled my Amazon Music and shuffled every song in my library. Strangely, mom didn’t mind me listen to music at all. Last time, she turned the volume down to the point I couldn’t hear.

The destination was Evanston, Wyoming, about 70 miles away. Mom wanted to play the lottery, try her luck, and we happen to live in a state where gambling is illegal. So we must cross the border if we want to gamble.

The scenery along the way was absolutely breathtaking. If I had a dash-cam, I would’ve recorded the whole thing. If it was just me, I would’ve found a suitable place to stop and would’ve taken lots of photos. The snow on the mountains on either side of the highway was glistening in the sunlight as the amount of snow in this area has been abnormally high this year.

We were about 10 miles from Evanston when all of a sudden came the dense fog. Suddenly, I couldn’t see more than several feet in front of me. What in the world? Where did it come from?

Thankfully, the road was pretty void of cars. We were still early on a Saturday. I decreased my speed from the speed limit of 80-miles-per-hour to just 60 as I gripped the steering wheel tightly while mentally preparing myself to brake at any moment. As quickly as the fog came, it dissipated as we crossed into Wyoming. “Welcome to Wyoming,” the sign read. Mom missed it, darn!

When we arrived at the gas station, the outside temperature in my car displayed a chilly 17-degrees-Fahrenheit. It was around 32 when we left home that morning. Brr…

The ground around the pumps at the gas station had a thick layer of ice and snow. Suddenly, I wanted to get out of this place. Forget pumping a full tank. Forget the lottery. I didn’t even want to get out of the car, fear I’d slip and fall. I want to return to a slightly warmer place.

But I’ve come so far. Why not see it through?

Though monotonous, the scenery on the drive back was equally beautiful. Though I cannot say I overcame my fear as I could feel my heart pound louder whenever there’s a car in the next lane and I did wanted to veer away from the car, I can say that I took the first step or the plunge in overcoming this fear.

#SundayStills

11 thoughts on “#SundayStills: Taking the #Plunge in Overcoming Fear

    1. It is definitely not an easy thing to do. I know even after so many years, I still retain many fears stemmed from my childhood. Thank you for your comment.

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  1. I totally understand the anxiety/depression cycle brought on by dark cloudy days, Yinglan. A drive toward sunshine was a great idea for both of you. Your pics look lovely (reminds me of my neck of the woods along Hwy 90 in Spokane). I didn’t know you had been in an accident–good that you are taking the plunge and tackling your fear of closeness. My best to you as you continue to work on facing your fear. It looks like you did a great job and writing about it is surprisingly therapeutic, I’m sure ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. The photos were from I-84 and I-80 and yes, writing has been great therapy for me. It’s great to have a place I can express my inner-most thoughts, things I don’t dare say to people in my real life. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fear normally makes us to take a step back but if we just hold on, we could take a giant leap.
    Good to know that you did this. And I agree with you that a dashcam would’ve been awesome on such trip.

    Liked by 1 person

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