I have this belief that in order to overcome your fears, first and foremost you have to conquer your SELF. By self I mean YOU, and everything that points and tells you that you are afraid of whatever it is that makes you freeze in your body, sending sharp pains to the nerves at the ends of your toes and finger tips, makes your knees go weak, your back tense up, your arms go jelly and your head feel heavy.
Since I was a kid I’ve always had fears of toilets overflowing, and anxieties in bathrooms; primarily public spaces. I always thought there was something bound to go wrong with every toilet I squatted on, rats or maggots will crawl out the toilets, the toilet itself will topple over and water will spray everywhere like a fire hydrant, and that germs were everywhere, the latter is true, and you can’t see them, unless it’s pure and utter grime infested, however, in my head, I could see them. I would play a scenario of the germs and their journey from one push of a door to the moment I turn that tap off once I washed my hands. So I would time everything I’d do to try and avoid any chance of those germs coming into contact with myself, however, even the thought of someone flushing that toilet and opening that door, I would envision a galaxy’s worth of flying mutants coming at me like a tsunami. Then everything I had worked towards keeping these little buggers off me became futile. And I felt hopeless and defeated. As for worrying about being flooded by a toilet and being stuck in a cubicle (yes, impossible) I’d only flush the toilet once I had unlocked the door then shut the door behind me.
Some people gasp and think I’m weird for having this fear and anxiety, but I think people who suffer arachnophobia are weirder. They’re scared of tiny little eight legged creatures who rely on sounds and they rely on shapes formed by light. They’re vision you could say is parable to someone who might be partially blind, and they have 8 eyes, it might be 6.
My point is, you can do it. You shouldn’t even think of the chances, like luck, it’s just a probability taken personally, it’s all down to you, and how you approach it head on when it happens, if it happens. I don’t see a toilet swallowing me whole anytime soon, and I don’t see a spider doing it too.
One approach that helped me was reading about it, studying it, even taking photos, drawing and doodling, even painting a few! On paper I mean! Which actually developed into a tachism style of painting and became really therapeutic after a while. Doesn’t mean that it’s gone completely, but I’ve realised the craziness behind my thought process and I’m much more calm about the whole situation. Don’t get me wrong, those scenarios do still play out in my head, but I snap out of it, realise what I’m doing and I just laugh at myself instead at how stupid I could be at being scared of flipping toilets.