My therapy assignment was to drive another way home. It seems simple enough except if you have a fear of getting lost. Apparently, the technical term for this is "mazeophobia." This was one reason why I did not do the Portland Marathon which was my other option from the Wineglass one I just ran. My original plan had been to run the marathon, then go to Washington state for a few days. My main purpose was to visit Bastyr University and see Portland and Seattle. After I had everything figured out (and I had found a cheap plane ticket), I had a sudden panic of getting lost in a completely unfamiliar area. As C. said, "your fear got the best of you." So true.
After telling C. about all this, I also went into my other fears about the uncertainty of life, my future, etc. We talked about this, and then she gave me the assignment to drive a different way home. This threw me for a loop. I wasn't prepared, and I only knew a few ways to get home. She was like, so pull out a map and just see what happens.
I seriously wanted to give all these excuses as to why I could not do this. She wasn't forcing me to do this, just saying it as a suggestion. But me, who wants to show I am trying, was trying to convince myself that this was no big deal.
This exercise, however, was more than about just going a different way home, but about trusting myself. I had told C. that I have certainly gotten lost before many times and found my way. I didn't just sit by the side of the road boo-hooing. She agreed, but said, "but you didn't tell yourself that at the time. You didn't trust yourself or have confidence"
So after doing my errands, I did take a different way home. C. had wanted it to be a way that I had never been. Well, it didn't exactly happen like that, but I did take a route that I rarely ever take. This was the road that I had a bad car accident on six years ago. I had never driven the entire road from town back to my place, simply due to fear. I think it was overcoming a hurdle, knowing that I would be okay, that the road was really going to stay in place. I trusted myself to drive on that road again and remember the beautiful scenery of horse farms, trees, cows, the sunlight hitting the fields, etc.
Sometimes, I think we muddy our minds by focusing on the obstacles so much that we forget about the beautiful memories, creations, life, laughter, and love that has occurred. And in the process, we lose a little bit of ourselves too. So each time, we allow ourselves to be in a place of discomfort, we can grow, learn, and learn to trust ourselves again.
By the way, if you want to look at a list of other phobias, here is a lengthy list.