How to manage your Fear Monster and make him smaller
Well done for acknowledging your own Fear Monster and appreciating that for you to get back normality as you know it, he must be defeated and shown who is boss in this (currently very un-equal and not very respecting of boundaries) relationship!
If you are reading this page I am presuming that a great battle with your own Fear Monster has just commenced or in fact has maybe taken place and you have been victories.
Making him smaller has to come down to you, using your knowledge of him to change your decisions and behaviours, I can see to the right just how deflated he is.
I imagine it has been a intense and bloody battle which has required some difficult choices and a heavy dose of courage. It may have taken a few attempts and I'm sure that some failed attempts may have delayed progress, but when you get back up despite any frustrating delays in progress, you will learn that over time, victory can indeed be yours.
The rule of thumb is that each time you fail and get back up, you get stronger and he gets weaker.
My own Fear Monster influenced and dominated my life for over twelve years. I believed every word he told me and all the fearful catastrophic scenarios that he placed as visuals in my mind's eye. I almost choked to death on the anticipation Anxiety he threw my way. I know from first hand experience that he can become so big that facing him and the fear he produces, is an incredibility courageous and difficult task to achieve. There is no choice but to lock horns in battle without a shred of personal strength, hope or belief that this is even possible, and this can be a huge undertaking.
I tried and fell many times with him laughing and mocking my efforts. Each time I failed boy would he enjoy reminding me every minute of every day how weak and pathetic I was, how my anxiety and fear would always consume me.
Thanks to my lack of knowledge as to how he works and as a result of that my choices to keep him as big as possible, the fear he generated became a focus above all else in my life and he would enjoy staying around, dominating my every thought and taking away every bit of life quality I had. He did nothing productive for my wellbeing at all, only filling my life with low mood, depression, fear and dread. Just an empty black space with nothing.
That is the unfortunate reality of living with a huge overpowering Fear Monster. Once he has moved in, it gets quite difficult to evict him
I came very close to this empty black void many times, I am ashamed to say that I allowed my own Fear Monster to play havoc and influence my choices and decisions to the point I did nothing and felt I had nothing, including the hope, courage and motivation I needed to get back some kind of level or control that would help me.
This is classic for behaviour relating to anxiety and panic. I followed my natural instinct to protect myself from my Fear Monster, but in making those choices to avoid the fear he placed in my head, I made choices that gave him the oxygen to survive and grow. I made him bigger and my life smaller and unfortunatley the truth is I did that myself. I may not have asked for him to come initally, but I certainly had to take responsibility for keeping him there.
Underneath all this and all the years I suffered, I slowing began to understand what was going wrong and and eventually seconds from disappearing into that black void forever, the penny dropped and I made the difficult decision that it was going to be much worse to stay the same than it was to try to climb out this mess that I was in.
Defeating your Fear Monster is down to the choices you make, however hard it seems to grasp that fact, eventually it is about making the correct choices to make him smaller.
It is a fact that he will make it as hard as he possibly can for you because your fear is his oxygen. He needs it to breathe.
And so however difficult it was, I set and end goal (To remove all the unhelpful panic and fear from my life that was coming in situations that were not really dangerous), and to get back my quality of life, self esteem and belief in myself that I could do this. I realised that however much help and support I asked for, ultimately it was me who had to learn to handle my Fear Monster and the feelings and sensations that came with him if I wanted to come out of the other side.
I felt out of control, but I had now had the realisation that I was perfectly in control. He stopped me doing nothing. I did.
The only way out of this fear was through it, I had to prove to myself that I could do it, no one else was going to be able to do this for me. It was my life and my own personal battle with my inner demon - The Fear Monster.
I had noticed him and my fear and choices had made him bigger, now I had to make him smaller or at the very least make our relationship a tad more equal! I had to make some boundaries, there really was no time to lose.
That day we shook hands for the first time, I silently acknowledged his presence and welcomed him into my life. We became partners. I knew he was going to make it as difficult as possible for me as his survival depended on it. It was down to his quality of life or mine. Period. We could never be true friends as the balance would never be even, it had to be me or him. But once the battle was over, we could reach an acknowledgement, maybe even an understanding.
So in conclusion,
I tried and then I tried again, and I made the right choices, always with my end goal in mind. The Fear Monster concept is a very real one. I began to acknowledge his presence, and allowed him to come and go, raging around me but having no affect on my ability to live my life. He did his thing and I did mine. I allowed him.
The initial battle is the hardest part, but once your Fear Monster has started to shrink and deflate it starts to get easier. Over time he lost most of his influence and power to influence me anymore. It is ultimately all about always being aware of his presence and working alongside each other in silent acknowledgement and respect. He must stay small and you can never lose your vigilance or make the wrong choices dominated by your moods and feelings again.
Even when he is small he will still have occasional rages and have a strong day, doing his best to return. This is commonly known as a setback. This is a normal pattern of behaviour for him as he has a need to grow and you cannot reverse your own memories, they are now part of you. When this happens it is important to see it as his attempt to make you weak, acknowledge his presence, slow down and continue to put one foot in front of the other.
Another common trick is that he can try to convince you that you feel odd and weird without him and then he will try to return because you find it more difficult to live without your fear than with it now it has become such a habit. When he is not there, that very habit in a weird way can cause you to wonder what to do without his presence and want to bring him back, he becomes your comfort and what you know, even if his presence does not feel good.
Slow down, work through it and keep him in a place where he cannot return. Remember it is all about choice.
In order for you to be able to live a life without fear, once you have made the correct choices to starve your Fear Monster of oxygen and make him smaller and deflated, he then needs to stay that way so he no longer causes havoc and grows to unmanageable proportions again.
It is possible to defeat your fear monster and make sure that he never darkens your door again or in fact causes you any more unmanageable fear.
I live in harmony with mine now, I do sometimes find his attempts at return a little tiresome, but I accept he is there and a small part of me that I need to keep under control and I cannot slip at all in my efforts as he can very quickly grow and become very naughty and disruptive, with the threat of taking away my quality of life once again.
Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to your Fear Monster, once he is big it is a lot harder to make him small again rather than just making smaller choices to keep an already small Fear Monster small.
In summary there are bits of information that can help you to keep your Fear Monster at bay:
- The only one who can ultimately face your Fear Monster is YOU
- Defeating your Fear Monster is absolutely possible for everyone.
- He is not as scary as he would like you to believe, and most of what he tells you will never happen. The only way to understand this though is to show yourself and to prove to yourself that YOU can do it.
- To remove fear in the long term, you must be prepared to feel it in the short term.
- That once he is small you never again forget that he is there and also maintain choices that keep him small.
- He is only ever a choice away from beginning to grow and will always try to regain the oxygen which keeps him bigger and your life more smaller and much more limited.
- Remember he is a tyrant and he will always have smaller surges of power that try to help him regain his oxygen level and begin to grow. That is just how it is. Once you have noticed him and he has become a problem, you will always be aware of him behind you in the corner. Think of lord Voldemort from Harry Potter when he lost his power, well it is a bit like that.