Doing It Afraid…

Erin Schaden
5 min readJan 19, 2023

Some days I just wake up and WHAM, there it is this nameless (or not nameless) fear. And I dread the day. I dread whatever I am afraid of. I just want to pull the covers over my head and skip the whole damn day.

And I have done that…

A lot.

Not so much recently but there have been times when what started out as just an inability to face the day became a larger issue of leaving the house…depression is a thing.

Since I addressed that underlying condition, I don’t have so many days where I am stuck to my bed. Whatever the day is going to bring, I face it and trust that while it may be painful or terrifying, I can face it. While I would really prefer to not be afraid, sometimes, more times that I would like to admit, I just have to do it afraid.

Today might be one of those days.

And I am afraid mostly because I have already decided the outcome. Completely have edged god out, and have come up with how I think it will go. Ideas float around and then land in my head and become fact for me.

I have to have a hard conversation today. I have built it up in my head for days (ok really weeks) and now the rubber has met the road and I have to actually involve the other person and I am terrified. I know that the outcome will be fine, I will be fine no matter what. I just want to avoid the middle part. The whole communication part. I want to just skip all of that and jump to the decision. And If I am really honest, I would just prefer to make the decision and leave the other person out all together.

And this would be how I have lived a lot of my life. But now, apparently, I have to do it differently. And I feel like I want to throw up. That is how much anxiety I have about this conversation. Because it isn’t really just the conversation, it is the other person’s reaction. If they say what I think they are going to say, I am going to have to deal with some ugly truths that I do not want to face.

Yes, of course, I see my pessimism. It could work out better than I ever thought and be amazing. But I have read the daily life tea leaves and that doesn’t appear likely. So I fear because what else is a worrier to do.

Actually, I am not a worrier…I am a control freak. And what is really going on here is that I don’t want to involve the other person because I don’t want to lose control. The outcome isn’t really what I am all jacked up about…it is the conversation and communication with this other person where I have to show up as an equal and tell my truth. And hopefully that other person will do the same. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. What I will twist myself into knots over, is how I can structure the whole thing to achieve an actual outcome that I have pre-decided is acceptable.

One more time it is the delusion of control, because the outcome, hell, even the process of this hard conversation isn’t up to me. It is up to both of us. And of course, God.

Life will go on either way. I can’t even tell you which outcome I would prefer. One outcome will kind of make everything easier and end this anxiety I feel and the other will continue the relationship and I will have to deal with other similar conversations down the road. Sometimes, well quite often, I see it only as either/or. And so I pick the path that gets me out of having to be in this position. Habitually.

So I sit again on the edge of myself wondering if I really want to do it differently. I say that I do but my current emotional state says something else. So much easier to walk, than to stay and be honest and deal. I am such a good story teller, half the time I don’t even know that I am opening the door, I just seem to suddenly find myself on the outside of it. And then there is nothing to do but walk away. Door firmly shut behind me.

Today I am not going to do that. Today I am going to have this hard conversation while totally terrified. It will be whatever it will be. I will hope for the best and trust that whatever the result, it is for my betterment, even if it is painful and hard. I have grown immensely on those points right there: painful and hard. So much of my life has been revolutionized by my willingness to be uncomfortable. So fucking much.

I prefer to do it with peace, tranquility and calm. But the rising panic in my abdomen is kinda ruling that out. So I will do this thing afraid. I will pray and ask for the right words and for there to be kindness and love and to have my own back. I will pray for acceptance and resolve. But make no mistake that no matter how much spirituality I can muster, today, I will be doing it fucking terrified.

The truth is that either outcome is hard. And as my sponsor reminds me there is almost always more than two outcomes. Just not in my head. My head like to boil it all down to two. That feels more manageable than “anything can happen!”

So today I will just be open to not knowing what will happen and try to be open and curious about it. That is all I know at this point and that I will be doing this whole deal afraid. And while I would much prefer to be doing it with bravery, perhaps today my version of brave is doing it at all.

Spiritual warriors aren’t the ones that get it all right. They are the ones that show up to the battle within themselves and refuse to accept the lame excuses that stunt their growth. Today, bravery has to be about doing it anyway. In spite of the fear, panic and dread. Today, I will do my best to just tell my truth and see what happens.

Ok, I have to go throw up now. So I guess my version of bravery today is also going to include some vomit…didn’t really see that coming so I will take that as a sign that really anything can happen…even vomit.

Who knew that vomit would ever be a sign of spiritual growth? The world is a funny place really. And I am just here doing my best even though that fluctuates.

So do it afraid. Do it with vomit. As Nike has beaten into our brains…just do it.



Erin Schaden

Who am I? I am all that I write, all that I learn, share and grow. Read and find out? Check out for more.