My Addiction to Fear

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I’m learning that I can’t be the mom who saves my kids. From a lot of things. 

I have operated out of fear, in the name of protection, for too long. And it has taken from me. My sanity, my ability to trust, my peace.

More importantly, my fear has taken from my kids. Their love of new things, their desire for adventure, their confidence in their decisions. Yeah, I did that. (Or rather, I allowed my fear to do that!)

I couldn’t see it before because I was happily living in a padded room of my own making. Quite like the rooms you see on t.v. in the haunted mental institutions. This was my brain on fear. I was safe but isolated, left to deal with my tormenting thoughts all on my own.

What sobered me up was my gut-wrenching decision to put my kids in public school this year after only homeschooling them for the past 6 years. Just making the choice to do it felt like death hovering over me as I shook from fear withdrawals.

I felt sick at the thought of letting them go when all I (and they) had ever known was our home, our rules, our ways. But then, after the waves of nausea started to decrease, I felt something new and, honestly, it scared me.

Freedom.

Not in the sense that freedom is only delegated to the school-going families. No, freedom in the sense that I could actually walk away from something that was no longer working for our family. It was keeping me bound in despair as I wrestled every day with watching my kids cling more and more to me and less to their own amazing personalities.

You know when you just get to that point when enough is enough? You are afraid of the new thing staring you in the face but you know that the old thing has just been done way too long? That’s where I was when my husband came to me and introduced the idea of putting them in school. I had a choice to make, albeit painful.

I decided that I was not going to be a fear-addict any longer.

So, we did it. And it’s been great! It’s also been hard some days. But better all around. They are standing on their own two feet and learning to take responsibility for their choices without me there to prompt them. They are embarking on new friendships and engaging in activities that they would have not had the chance to do otherwise. Most importantly, my fear of them not needing me anymore was proven totally unfathomable. They get to take care of themselves when not at home but the evenings are my time with them. Time for snuggles and homework help and bedtime prayers.

They say fear is an illusion. I say fear is also a drug. It incapacitates you and leaves you wanting more and more of it until it’s all you can think about. Thank God I have a husband who listens to God’s voice and calls me higher when I’m living beneath the level of freedom God has for me.

Thank God, the taste of freedom is way more satisfying then the taste of fear.

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10 thoughts on “My Addiction to Fear

  1. Yep I’m a dad who lives in fear of many things and like you I’m in a little rubber room that keeps me from doing things. It strips me from my family, friends, and even my faith sometimes. I too have a supporting spouse who brings me back up front the depths of fear to doing more than I could ever imagine. Without God playing a role in sending me my angel of a wife it would not be this way. God wins every time! I am so encouraged by your words you write most of the time. Proud to have you as a life long friend as well even though we are states apart. Thank you for writing what God leads you to write because it helps more than just mothers and women but us dads and I’ve even used your writings to teach our youth at church. Thank you!!

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  2. Oh this hit me hard. I struggle with fear/worry a lot! Letting go of my kids is so hard, but I know God’s got them. He will love them and guide them when I’m not with them so much better than I could ever do! Loved this!

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  3. I give you a lot of respect for recognizing what wasn’t working and pushing through your fear to move on to next step. It’s not easy!

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  4. Agree a lot with you. I saw many parents who are over protective. If we dont allow our kids to experience a few things and learn from failures, they might someday become insecure afraid of every small obstacle in their lives. A thoughtful post indeed.

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  5. I feel like you just described me to a tee. I am working so hard on changing this for my daughter and for myself! Starting this year, I have done and am doing so many things I would never do and learning to stop being so fearful. It’s hard, but I’m trying! Go you!

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  6. I have been thinking of you and wondering how your children (and you) have been adjusting during this time of transition. I am so glad to hear it is going so well! Your words really have given me something to pause and consider. I often wonder if my decision to homeschool is coming from a place of fear — my own fear. I want to think about this a bit more, but for now, I am grateful to you for sharing so honestly. Your courage to let go of what was no longer working is inspiring, Harmony. ❤

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