We all have fears, some of us have more fears than others, and some of us can cope with fear better than others. We’re all the same in that respect, but what makes some people different than others is the choice they make when dealing with fear. Either they let their fear control their life or they take action in order to get rid of the fears they have. Getting rid of fear isn’t easy, and it takes lots of nerves, but the rewards are worth it!
There are two types of fear; rational and irrational. Rational fear is the fear that alerts you of real danger like the fear of heights, whereas irrational fear is the one that we make up ourselves in our own heads, based on some misconception of reality. I tackle both types of fears, rational and irrational. One of my irrational fears used to be the fear of darkness. Ever since I was a little kid, I was always petrified of the dark. It took a long time for me to get rid of that fear, in this blog post I will tell you of my experience when I tried to get rid of it.
About 7 years ago, I got a call from my friend, he invited me to go explore an abandoned mental hospital (Woodland) during the night. I was told lots of stories about the horrible history of that place and all the abused patients that suffered and were killed while staying there. Read some of the articles about Woodland for yourself: Woodlands Justice in Doubt, Woodlands school survivors say good riddance to final building
I was nervous, but at the same time I got really excited to finally give it a shot at getting rid of the fear that I had struggled with for most of my life. That same night, a few friends and I went to that place. The area was fenced off, which was very easy to hop over, but the fear was holding me back and made it a bit more difficult to get myself to do it. Obviously I had to be well intact and didn’t want to appear weak in front of my friends, so I held myself together and went through with it. The building looked very creepy, and my mind was beginning to play tricks on me, I had a feeling that at any moment I would see a face or something in one of the windows of the building. It was a very weird and scary sensation being outside that hospital. Then it was time to go inside to explore, we turned on our flashlights and stepped through the doorway. It felt like I was in a horror movie, the atmosphere felt exactly like it, but I kept on focusing on my breathing and relaxing my mind, telling myself that anything that happens, I would deal with it. It’s interesting how all of us were walking very close to each other, I guess I wasn’t the only one who was scared lol.
After we came out, I felt very relieved, but also very empowered knowing that I had faced my fears! It was a very rewarding experience!
After that night we visited lots of other abandoned places, some of them were as creepy as Woodland, Riverview Mental Hospital being one of them. Now there was something very strange about that place. When my friend and I were checking that place out before going in the following day, a strange thing happened. My friend was taking pictures with his phone, and after he tried to take a picture on ‘burst mode’ (which takes four quick pictures in a row) he noticed something strange. The first picture was fine, the second looked blurry, third looked black, and last was normal again. “That’s weird…” he said, showing me the pictures, “let’s try this again.” I moved myself and my bicycle a couple meters to the side so he could take more pictures. After he took the picture, and had a look at it, he was completely speechless. “Yo, you gotta see this…” When I looked at the pictures, the first one was fine, the second one was blurry, third one was blurry black, and the forth one was a picture of the front wheel of my bicycle. I was far off with my bicycle from where the camera was pointing when he took that picture, there was no way that last picture should have been of my bicycle wheel. That gave me the chills, and while we were looking at the pictures, the phone just turned off by itself. My friend told me it was the first time his phone was acting that weird.
All this strange phenomena happened not just at the time when we were physically at those kinds of places. It was lingering with us for a few days after as well. I was having crazy dreams about them, and the weirdest phenomena were all the strange coincidences that affected all of us. Here’s a few examples of the ones I remember:
– Before going in to Riverview, we met some guy who told us about all the interesting abandoned places in the world, one of them was the ‘Catacombs in Paris.’ The next day at work, when I opened the internet explorer, the front page was an article about ‘Catacombs in Paris’
– One day after my dance practice, I was walking to my car in April as it started to snow (it was very unusual to have snow in April in Vancouver), when I sat in my car and turned it on, the CD player greeted me with “Merry Christmas”
And the biggest one of all:
– I went for my tandem jump for the first time because I wanted to start skydiving, and the next day I found out that a few hours after my jump, that airplane crashed with the skydivers inside it, no one died but some were injured
I remember going through that phase of my life was very exciting, scary, and surreal. I felt that I had some purpose in life, and a ‘new me’ was going to immerge after I faced and eliminated those fears. If I was to attribute a symbol to that part of my life, it would be a phoenix. That’s actually the one and only tattoo that I want to get one of these days.