Halloween is a time for all things scary. Scary movies, dressing up as scary characters, creepy books, food that looks like severed fingers – you name it. I love Horror in all it’s forms but this won’t be your typical Halloween blog post. Today I want to talk about how I’ve reclaimed the things that scare me.

If you’ve been around here long enough, you’ll know that I suffered from an almost decade long anxiety disorder that cost me my independence, made me lose money, left me with no friends in my 20’s and quite simply, no life at all.

Thankfully, I am recovered from my anxiety disorder now (although no doubt have some unresolved trauma around it which I’m hoping to start working through) but it was a long road and had me working incredibly hard to get my life back.

That anxiety disorder turned many every day and normal things into an absolute nightmare for me. Things that most people take for granted or don’t give a second thought about. 

And these were the things I had to work hard to reclaim for myself. So in honour of Halloween this year, here are some things that used to scare me that I’ve reclaimed.

5 things I’ve reclaimed that scared me:


Last week I published a blog post about my personal driving story, along with some tips for nervous drivers, so I’m not going to rehash my whole driving experience but very long story short, my anxiety disorder made me terrified to drive for around 8 years. Ove the last few years, I’ve fully reclaimed my driving back and I am SO proud of myself for it.

Spending time alone

Another thing my anxiety disorder had me terrified of was spending time alone. I was scared to be alone with myself, I didn’t trust myself to look after myself and basically thought I was going to die every time I was alone because there wasn’t anyone there to help me.

These days, I love spending time alone. I’ve just moved out with my partner and he works out the house, so I’m alone a lot during the day. But I love going places by myself to and whilst I’m not quite at the stage of travelling alone (and don’t know if I ever will be), taking solo micro-adventures like going to the zoo, a solo cinema trip or a solo spa trip are my jam.


This isn’t something that stemmed from my anxiety disorder, this was something I was uncomfortable with way before that and I think is a pretty normal fear but through reading books about death, listening to podcasts and really immersing myself in what I like to call, “death content”, I’ve really found some peace, understanding and utter fascination with the concept.

Loss of control

Something that, quite obviously, would have stemmed from my anxiety disorder and being in a state of out of control in my mind for so long. For the longest time, I tried to make sure everything happened exactly as I’d thought it should in my head, so I wasn’t faced with any surprised or anything that would make me anxious.

I would go through every single possible scenario in my head of every activity I was doing – even just going for a walk. It was exhausting and there are some days where I genuinely don’t know how I didn’t end up sectioned because I really was so mentally ill. This loss of control is something I’m very much reclaiming back.

I think we’ve all got a sense of not liking being out of control. I think that’s normal and human. But I think we should learn that actually, we’re not in control of much in the first place. When we understand that, life can be a lot more freeing. Even smaller things like going on rides, travelling by plane, not making plans for your day are all small acts of being out of control.

New experiences

Which I think ties in nicely to my final point and that’s new experiences. I thrive on new experiences these days. I love doing new things, discovering new places, trying new food. And I think that’s because for so long, my life was contained within 4 walls, not doing anything or experiencing anything that life had to offer. My heart breaks for her, it really does.

How To Claim Back Your Fears

So this post wouldn’t be complete without a few tips. We’re all scared. Of life, of change, of the unexpected. We all fear something. Obviously these are fairly general tips because as fears go, there is a LOT of different categories and things to work through.

Identify what it is you’re afraid of

Perhaps this one is obvious. Spiders, tick. The dark, tick. But maybe it’s not. Maybe there’s something you’re scared to do but you’re not sure why. Like me when I was scared of driving, it was the actual driving that scared me, it was much deeper than that.

Get some professional help

And if that is a route you want to go down, then therapy would definitely be the best way to get deeper into your fears and why you’re scared. But also, finding some methods for claiming that thing back.

Journal it out

Journaling is great for almost any emotion but fear, anxiety, worry etc. in particular. If you’re thinking about this fear, get your journal out and see what comes out without thinking too much about what you’re writing – you might surprise yourself.

Take baby steps

Nobody is asking you to go on the world’s fastest rollercoaster if you’re scared of rollercoasters. Baby steps are the best sort of steps you can take when it comes to reclaiming a fear.

Educate yourself

If it is something anxiety related, then educating yourself on anxiety, how it works, what it is and how it affects you can be really empowering. Similarly, learning about the thing that scares you (like I did with death) can be so beneficial.

So, here’s to Halloween. Here’s to Horror and fear in the most fun way possible but also recognizing that life is scary sometimes.

Here’s to understanding our fear and claiming it back in whatever small way we can, so we don’t let it ruin, control or dictate our lives.

And here’s to doing our best.

Tell me one thing that you used to be scared of that you managed to work through.

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  1. So glad you’ve finally overcome the anxiety which caused so many problems in your life. For many years I experienced the same thing. But breaking free is powerful & it can be done!

  2. I absolutely love how you have reclaimed the things that scare you Jenny, this post is incredibly inspiring for those (myself included) who have things we fear and want to reclaim and have control over! Death is one I am scared of, but I like that there are books about death to aid in understanding and distilling the fear x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  3. Love this post Jenny. I have a kind of driving anxiety but it is related to parking after I tried to get into a small parking space and hit a parked car which the driver was inside of. For years, I would get completely panicked about parking and then I needed to find to spaces together or I wouldn’t park up at all. I’m just starting to challenge myself with parking in single spaces but it’s a long process and sometimes I will and sometimes I’m too fearful.

  4. This is definitely something I need to work on in terms of my health. I’ve found it really hard to move on over this last year or so, but with a little bit of help, I feel like I’m managing some baby steps towards that and towards having a bit more faith in my body.
    I really enjoyed reading your post as it felt like something I could really relate to.

  5. I love your tips and your tenacity to get back to driving. I willingly quit driving around 6 or 7 months ago (except for our move), mostly due to the anxiety of heavy traffic and crazy drivers, but also because it made my husband nervous and dizzy (after he had a stroke last year). Sitting beside him in the back seat while riding with others or in an Uber/Lyft works out so much better (and saves us money)!
    I am working on getting my body back in shape—that’s my one thing to overcome.
    As for Death, I offer my book to anyone seeking relief, Blue Eyes: Ethereal Messages of Connection.

  6. I love this. I think it’s so important to think about these types of things so that you can really see how far you’ve come. Personally for me, I was so afraid to put me and my blog out there but it’s something that I’ve been working on.

  7. Yes to reclaiming! Specifically driving (ew, I hate it) and death (my current hyper fixation). I am starting a bit of a journey now to overcome my very sudden onset health anxiety after having some pretty serious (seeming) symptoms, my cats being ill at the same time simultaneously and literally unable to get anywhere with my local GP surgery (surprise, surprise). I’ve enrolled in therapy and have my inital consultation tomorrow to see how it’s best to support me as I wait for results, treatment etc. And it’s all just mad scary.

    1. I have a blog post on health anxiety that you might find helpful. It was my health anxiety that caused me to hit rock bottom in 2019 and caused me to go on my anxiety meds which was the best decision ever.

      I don’t think thinking about / being interested in death is a bad thing, it’s incredibly interesting when you start to look at all the different aspects such as the funeral industry. If you ever went a weird death chat you know where I am!

  8. This speaks to me on so many levels as I think I am in a period where I have let some fears get a little too comfy in my life. I think I have a bit of work to do to make a start, but reading this has definitely helped me realize that I can take steps to work through these. Thank you for this—it was much needed!

  9. I love this blog post. Thanks for sharing, I imagine sharing your fears is scary in itself!! I have to say I am absolutely terrified of scary films and its not the watching that causes me issues it’s afterwards when I’m replaying scenes in my head. It can keep me away and come completely out of the blue. I’m 41 and have been known to sleep with the light on because I can’t stop my brain overthinking!! 🙄
    I’m Intrigued about the podcasts you listened to to help you with your fear of death? I find it a really interesting topic.

  10. Wonderful post Jenny and we’ll done on reclaiming these things especially driving. I value time to myself so much these days and like you enjoy a solo micro adventure

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