Contemplating and Confronting Perceived versus Actual Fear


When I decided earlier this year to change my two UK vacations into first, a cruise for myself alone and then secondly, another cruise with my two youngest children, I received quite a mixed response regarding that decision.

Several people said I was “missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime” and others said that it was “better to be safe than sorry”. While I am somewhat sad that I didn’t get to pursue London, I don’t have too many regrets over my decision, although they do exist, albeit in minutia.


Just in the past few weeks, let alone in recent years, there has been, at least for me, a great deal of fear about safety, crime, terrorism and the world in general. I’ve often felt that even locally, my surroundings have become unsafe and that I need to somehow “escape” to another environment so that I will somehow arrive at this magical, safe destination that will remove all my fear and doubt.

The hardest part of that *fantasy* is acknowledging its existence. Processing and overcoming it is probably another thing altogether, but acknowledging it is a very difficult step. It’s good to be informed, but too much information, especially of the continuously negative news that seems to be prevalent these days, can really build up inside of us and create a false sense of imminent danger.

Lately, I have been reading too much into local news and found myself worrying more than I probably should about a number of issues. Overthinking and analyzing comes easy to someone like myself who suffers with anxiety, so I need to take a step back and really think about the bigger picture.


While I did things like really beefing up my home security and being more vigilant of my surroundings, at the same time I’ve been trying to allow changes to happen. While I didn’t visit the UK for several reasons, traveling alone on a cruise to four foreign ports was empowering and truly expanded my view of the world. The same can be said for the cruise with the children. We had a wonderful experience and created amazing memories.

It’s difficult to even browse the internet without coming across something negative that is in the top news. Some of the information we are presented with can be quite upsetting. Hearing about the loss of life or senseless acts of all kinds can make one feel sad, inadequate, even ill-equipped for this world.

What I’ve started to do is back away from it a bit and let things in that make me happy. Doing things with the kids, dating, making new friends, working on my crafts and my health have become priorities in the forefront that in the long run will work far better at allowing me to let positive change in. We can’t stop what’s happening around us, but we are in control (to an extent depending on mental health challenges of course) of how often we choose to pursue the negative.


I’m setting a goal for myself to seek out at least one positive fact about something that has worried me of late. For example, there are concerns at the school where one of my children will attend in the near future. I am going to look for positive stories that will help me find balance in my perspective. Seeing only the negative has created more fear and apprehension than I should have to be honest.

Believing that these changes will happen overnight is not something feasible. I know it will take time for me to improve my faith in humanity. Feeling safe and secure is something that is a work in progress for me, but I know that taking the first steps towards brightening that outlook is already beginning. I leave you with this most reflective of thoughts:




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