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Breaking Free of Fear

She stared down at her desk, hoping the lack of eye contact would ensure that the teacher would not call on her. She sat on the sideline as everyone picked people to be on their team for she knew she would be last, again. This was where she felt comfortable, distanced from people. You could call her shy but it was much more than that; it was fear. And fear was my constant companion.

If pregnancy fears are pressing in on you, please contact Avenue Women’s Center. With offices in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, and Wood Dale, Illinois, we are here to help you.

When fear and anxiety would strike, I would run or try to disappear in the background. I became quite good at it. No one noticed me; I was the invisible girl. And I liked it that way. At least I told myself that lie. Being in the mix of things meant possibly messing up in front of everyone. That felt like the worst of the worst. What if I tripped and fell trying to do the Double Dutch jump rope… so I didn’t try. What if I answered the question wrong and someone laughed then they would know I was dumb… so I didn’t raise my hand.

It was exhausting trying to find excuses for not joining in. When I went to bed at night I would imagine I was someone else. Someone pretty and coordinated and smart. Someone who people noticed and remembered their name. Someone who had close, genuine relationships. And then the day came when I had to look in the mirror and realize that I had created this problem. I had paved the way for people to ignore me. I had set the standard of how people related to me.

It was time to manage my own life.

Sounds so freeing and wonderful, doesn’t it? Not so easy to do. It certainly was something to be done in small steps. The steps felt awkward and clumsy at first and still do sometimes. Sharing my thoughts and opinions, especially where the subject was the least bit controversial, was scary. My skills in communication and addressing issues were weak, never having managed anything. But with each step – each attempt – I felt the handcuffs of fear slipping off my hands. Amazingly enough, I was not laughed at but embraced. How ironic is that? I had lived my life like a victim but there was no crime. It was all in my head.

I have noticed that women may blame others and make excuses but very often the reality is that responsibility for taking a first step is up to us. It begins with reaching out and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. I have heard it said that 90% of what we worry about never happens. In my life, I can attest to that.

Perhaps for you, today is a good day to begin. Whatever your fear, can you take a little itty bitty move in a positive direction? Chances are, you will survive. No – more than just survive – you will live, fully engaged, managing your own life.

Our goal today has been to share a personal story and, hopefully, to encourage you in your journey. We do understand that unplanned pregnancies often come with many legitimate fears. In no way are we minimizing what you may be experiencing. Instead, we want to assure you that there is hope. You can – and will – get through this season, and the staff of Avenue Women’s Center is here to help you.

If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant and facing fears today – please contact us. You will find that our services and information are helpful. More than that, you will find that we care, that having a nonjudgmental professional on your side makes a difference, and that you can move forward with the best possible decisions for your situation. We hope to hear from you today.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.