Face Your Fears

In this weekly event brought to us by Author SB Mazing, we find courage to face our fears!

FINISH IT #7:

His hands were trembling. He wasn’t sure what to do. He wasn’t sure what to think. All he knew was it was now or never.

“Richard, you can do it.”

That was true. But Calvin wasn’t the one who was stuck inside with the terror. He wasn’t the one who had not been out of his house, let alone frightened of even stepping across the threshold. He was the normal one.

Calvin knew this was hard. It always was. Especially taking those first steps. “I’m here with you. We will be back inside in just a minute. We don’t even have to close the door.”

Yes, that was true. He could run back inside, to safety, the second he started to freak out, which he was already doing anyway.

“Why don’t you turn the knob, like we did the last couple of times. Open the door, and just look out.”

Richard nodded. He could do that. He reached out his hand, and felt the cool metal slip right into his palm. It was a good fit. He had turned it last time, and the time before. But the intent was not going across the doorjam. It was just opening the door. What if he pretended that was all they were going to do? Then it would be just like those other times. No different. He turned the knob, and could feel the door easing open, outward, as if being pulled by the wind.

The nausea showed up. “I feel sick,” he said to Calvin.

“Remember what we do when that happens?” Calvin asked. “Take a nice slow breath. Very slow, through your nose. Concentrate on following your breath. Follow me. Breathe in slow.” Calvin breathed in very slowly. Richard followed suit. “That’s it. Good. Now breathe out slowly also, and count in your head. One, two, three, four.”

Richard exhaled very slowly. He counted silently along with Calvin. He felt his heart beating too fast. What should he do?

“Relax your shoulders.” Calvin’s voice was soothing, safe.  Richard could feel his upper body was hunched in on itself. I released the tension. “Now let go of the knob, and the door will keep opening.”

Richard could see the stoop outside expanding. He focused on a dot of paint just beyond the threshhold.

“Feeling better?” Calvin asked. Richard nodded. The spot of paint took his attention. He wanted to see if it was wet. Calvin watched him, saw where he was focused. “If you move up just to where the toe of your shoes touch the jam, you can see it better.”

Richard slid his right foot forward, felt it touch the raised metal of the threshold. Then he moved the other foot as well. His gaze returned to the spot of paint. “Doesn’t that look wet?”

“What?”

Richard pointed to the spot. “That paint spot.”

“Well, it does look shiny. Do you want to check it out?” This was more than he had hoped for.  Richard’s OCD was over riding his agoraphobic fear of leaving his house.

“I… I don’t know. You think I could reach it from here?”

“Hmmm.” Calvin thought outloud. “You probably could. You might have to stoop down, to reach out to it.”

Richard remained standing. He thought about the easiest way to touch the spot. Calvin was right. If he stooped, or even knelt down, he could reach out for it. He  saw that Calvin had slowly gotten down on his knees. Richard followed suit. Stretching out, he leaned forward, then without thinking, he automatically let his other hand touch down on the cement. Finally, however, he touched a finger on the spot. It was dry. For a moment he closed his eyes, the smell of the air was clean.

“Is it dry?” Calvin asked.

Richard nodded. He liked the way the sun felt warm on his arm. And being close to the ground somehow felt safer.

“What are you thinking, Richard?”

“The sun feels good. The air smells clean.”

“Would you like to sit in the sun, there on the porch? You don’t have to get up. Just sit there and feel the sun.”

Richard inched out a bit further, both hands on the ground. He brought his knees over the doorjam, and, still looking at the paint spot, he shifted and sat in the sun, pulling his legs up close to his chest, and wrapped his arms around them. He breathed in deeply.

Calvin crawled out onto the porch, and sat next to him.

“You did good, Richard.”

Richard managed a smile, and looked at Calvin, then back at the  door. It was still open. Good. And, he was outside the house! But he tried not to get too excited, fearing that would spoil it.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. calensariel
    Mar 30, 2015 @ 13:59:04

    Absolutely beautiful and exactly the way it is. Our daughter-in-law (soon to be ex-) is OCD. Living with her was an education. Very nice job. From personal experience with someone?

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  2. JoHanna Massey
    Feb 07, 2016 @ 08:40:22

    This was so well told, and then in the comments I read you have lived your own version of this story. . Fim, your sharing of your story is important. You never know where or when your words will show up just at the perfect time for someone who needs to read them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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