I’ll admit it, I have long been afraid of the dark.
I have a memory of my Dad taking me outside late one night when I was a child, and by the street lights he stood there on the driveway with me and said “See, everything is the same as during the day, there’s just no light.” Which is completely true and there’s no logical reason to be scared of the change from light to darkness, yet it persisted. I liked to hide my head under the blankets for ‘safety’.
Even in my 30s I liked to have my bedside lamp on before I could turn the lounge room light off. Heaven forbid something eat me alive on that treacherous 5 metre walk of darkness to the bed. That axe murderer or rapist having patiently waited for hours in my walk-in-robe or ducked down behind the couch, waiting for the cover of darkness to leap out at me.
Silly yes, but the fear was real, irrational or not.
I managed to work around this fear throughout my life, using light from my phone or laptop as a ‘torch’ or protective beam, sticking closely by others in darkness-related social events (not vampirism, night clubbing!), until the ripe old age of 33…
I had worked a long day at work and had an hour train commute ahead of me to get home, and I still had to get to the train station to begin that commute. And I was very keen to get home!
Daylight savings had just finished and without thinking I headed to the train station from the office on my 20 minute walk. But HOLY SHIT, as I stepped out of the office, I noticed that it was pitch black and and really really dark and I really didn’t want to do this! I practically whimpered. I had no one that lived nearby that I could pester for a lift and no other way to get home. My co-worker finished hours later than me. I was stuck. It was so dark that my mobile phone torch/’laser beam’ was useless. And anyway would that not draw attention to me from the cockroach-like crims that come out at night? I just had to walk it. One step at a time!
That 20 minute walk took FOREVER. I was breathing shallowly and frantically calling my husband so I would be speaking to someone before I got stabbed in a freak gang attack or pushed into the river by a druglord. He didn’t answer! I gasped inwardly every time I saw a shadow on the path with me, breathing sighs of relief when it was just a fellow commuter going about their business or someone walking their dog or jogging (YES, SAME AS DAYTIME, YOU IDIOT!). I could have kissed the train station attendant when I finally got there! It was good to be alive!
SO after this ordeal I decided it was time for me to own this and resolve it.
The next shift that I worked, I was ready for home time and the trek in the dark! I took some deep breaths before stepping out into the darkness.
I recognised that I could really use the darkness to my advantage and tap (using Emotional Freedom Technique of course) pretty much constantly on the walk.
I began tapping for “Calm” and just tried to relax myself because my imagination would run riot the more I got stressed! I then tapped for whatever came to mind, or rather, came to feeling. Things like “Scared shitless!”, “Worried I’ll get hurt”, “Vulnerable”, “Unsafe”. And I was doing it, I was walking that walk in the dark. I wasn’t feeling completely fearless, but I was doing it and breathing easier and not fearing for my safety quite so much.
And then a massive freight train went by on my right with its many many carriages holding shipping containers. KER CHUNCK KER CHUNK KER CHUNK KER CHUNK! was the noise it made. “Wow that was loud.. so loud that it might muffle noises of someone yelling.. No one would hear them if they were being attacked..”. And as I was thinking this and looking at this freight train while walking, a generator rumbled loudly to life on my left. I practically jumped. “What the f*ck was that!!!!”. If you can imagine what it feels like to scream on the inside, that’s what I was doing!
It was pure heightened emotion that I could absolutely use with EFT! (the stronger the emotion the better!) So I kept tapping away while freaking out. And a block later I was laughing. 🙂
You’ll be pleased to know that I still do that walk to the train station in the dark and I am no longer afraid. There is a peacefulness and settledness I’ve noticed in the darkness that the daytime doesn’t seem to have. I do still keep myself aware of what’s going on around me while I’m walking, as one should do on a city street in the darkness, but there is no longer an all consuming fear. I don’t think twice about needing a light to get to the bedroom and the ‘phone torch’ is only to stop me tripping over things.
Any other scaredy cats out there? Try EFT!