Overcoming a Fear . . .

. . . Even if it may seem crazy to most of you!

I don’t have many phobias, heights are fine, even snakes, as long as they aren’t venomous, do not bother me. Spiders, well strangely if they are outdoors in the garden they’re okay, as long as I know where they are and they don’t run towards me, they’re okay. Mice are cute, sharks are scary but I’m not likely to encounter one.

Rats however are a different kettle of . . . well rats really. And they terrify me, always have. I’ve had a recurring dream for decades about rats climbing up the drain into the toilet, I won’t keep you awake with the details.

So, earlier in the year when I walked into a tent at an agricultural show and came face to face with a whole load of them, my heart started beating way too fast. Just as I was beginning to feel sick and turned to get out a smiling girl approached me with a rat in each hand asking would I like to hold one.

‘Uh, no thanks I’m actually feeling rather anxious just being here, I think I’d better go’ did I actually look daft enough to hold a rat???

‘Well’ she said, ‘you’re managing to look at Jeremiah, well done, now isn’t he cute?’

I tried to slow my breathing and talk sense to myself while she muttered something about them being gentle, loving pets who like nothing better than snuggling up on their persons shoulder.

‘Perhaps you would like to stroke him? his fur is so soft.’

She continued to talk to me about Jeremiah and his siblings, breeding, feeding and winning prizes in the show. I started to feel a tiny bit calmer and my inner voice told me that I would never have a better chance to overcome my fear, than right then with such an understanding lady encouraging me.

Suddenly I heard myself say ‘Will it turn its mouth towards me f I stroke its back?’

‘No, it’ll be fine go for it.’

I did it. I may not do it again, I’ll never be a fan and I have no idea why anyone would choose one as a pet, but I’ve felt a big less phobic since that day and a real sense of achievement. Crazy eh?

ratty

So here he is!
If you have a picture that shows achievement, most likely more sensible than mine visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/achievement/ to join in.