It has been said that bravery doesn't mean you're not scared, it just means that you do it anyway. So I hope this story will be a help and inspiration to people on how to cope and face their worst fears.
Since childhood, I have feared needles. Shots no longer bother me, but one paranoia I still have to this day is blood drawing. So much so that I have refused medical treatment in the past. The last time I had to get it done was 2013, and I went into shock and had to be placed on a hospital bed for several minutes. I would not go through it again until 7 years later, last Friday. As I started with my new doctor in the area, she reviewed my medications and said she wanted to take blood to monitor how they were effecting my system. I didn't want to. In fact, I informed her that it would be best to put me to sleep during the process, because there would be a serious chance I would pass out or become unresponsive. "I can give you something to make you calm and tired, but they won't put you under for a blood draw because it's too big of a risk, " she informed.
To be blunt, I thought she was a quack, because I had been on this medication for years and no doctor had ever told me that they wanted to monitor my system because of it. However, there were some other health issues I wanted to get checked out just to be safe, all of which could not be done any other way than through blood analysis. So I had a choice, a trial even. I could refuse the blood work and risk my health, or I could do what was needed by fighting one of the greatest monsters of my life. I knew the latter was the bravest and most responsible, but considering my previous results, the real question was, how?
"I'd rather fight a Minotaur," I said to myself. Soon I realized, maybe I was. Perhaps I could do this like a Greek Hero, and fight the monster. It may put a hurting on me, but I decided I would refuse to run from it. I would confront it like a Hellenist. Before leaving that morning, I made sacrifice to Athena for strength. Then I placed my necklace from the Parthenon with Her image around my neck. My wife also volunteered to come with me. I decided not to take the sedative, and not to have the blood taken from my hand instead of my arm, even though I thought this would be easier. I wanted to be brave and have my senses, for only then could I truly say I faced it.
When I entered the clinic, I didn't see myself as walking into a doctor's office. Instead, I was entering a cave where the monster lived. The arts on the walls were cave drawings left by ancient men, and when I approached the lair where the beast resided, I could hear it roar and that was when I was most afraid. But fortunately, a nearby sink provided a natural spring through the cave that I used to calm my nerves and purify myself by running the waters over my hands and arms and praying to Poseidon. Afterwards, there was nothing else left to do but go face the inevitable.
When I sat down in the chair, I didn't try to see a nurse and a needle before me. Instead, I fought the Minotaur of the lair, and in my mind's eye, I punched him as hard and as many times as I could. When it was over, I fell into my wife exhausted and shaking all over. I had to drink water and hold on to the image of Athena around my neck for a while, but eventually I centered and didn't pass out like I feared. The trauma was over. While I faced much difficulty going through it, I still accomplished the goal by keeping my mind in an ancient Greek mindset. Success doesn't mean you never encounter trouble. It means you make it.
In the Goodness of the Gods,