I have a slight case of spheksophobia. Spheksophobia is the Latin word for fear of wasps.
This might seem strange considering I’ve never been stung by a wasp and hopefully I never will. But I am slightly afraid of wasps. Yet I have not, am not and will not let that small fear stop me from being outside and enjoying it because I love the outdoors a lot. Everyone is afraid of something, but you can’t let it stop you from living. Life is too short for that.
According to the website www.fearofstuff.com, people with spheksophobia get “extremely agitated when they are exposed to wasps and their nests. They will flee and often their panicked response makes them an even bigger target for angry wasps, who are far more likely to sting those who make a commotion.” It added other symptoms are nausea, dizziness and feelings of “doom and terror.”
I don’t get extremely agitated nor do I feel nauseous, dizzy, or like the world’s biggest terror is descending upon me when a wasp approaches. I don’t have an extreme fear of wasps.
But I do feel a bit nervous and uncomfortable around wasps, especially when they fly near me or crawl on me. One time when I was golfing out at Lac Pelletier I was drinking an iced tea and a wasp suddenly landed on my lip. Inside I was freaking out, but I sat very still. The wasp drank up the drop of iced tea lingering on my lip and flew away.
I exhaled a huge sigh of relief when it left. However this past summer something happened that has made me more afraid of wasps. In the summer a wasp stung my uncle.
Now he’s been stung loads of times over the years. But this time, as I later learned when the ordeal was over, immediately his skin started swelling up badly. Within minutes his eyesight started failing because of the swelling and his throat was closing up. My aunt called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital.
Thankfully the doctors were able to get everything under control, but they said now he has to inject himself with some sort of medication every time a wasp stings him. If they hadn’t gotten to him when they did, he would’ve died.
Yet the next day he still went to work and was fine. I remember thanking God profusely after I learned he’d be OK. Religion aside, because he is my mom’s brother, there is a chance his reaction is in the genes. Now I worry about what will happen if a wasp stings someone else in the family.
Even on Wednesday when I ate outside the wasps swarmed and it was annoying for sure.
The point is it didn’t stop me from being outside. We can’t let our fears stand in the way of us doing what we love. We can’t let our fears dictate how we live our life. If you fear spiders and see one in your house, you can get someone else kill it if you are too afraid or you can confront that fear and kill the spider yourself.
If you live alone, you have no choice but to get a handle on your fear and do what must be done. After all you don’t want to have a bunch of spiders and mini-spiders living and breeding in your house. If you’re afraid of needles, you can’t avoid getting necessary shots for your health.
If you fear germs, you can’t spend your life taking precautions to avoid all germs to the point of obsession. If you fear social situations, you can’t avoid all people forever. If you fear death, don’t linger on it. Death will come to everyone at some point in our lives, but we can’t let that fear stop us from living.
Technically you can spend your life avoiding situations you’re afraid of or are uncomfortable in.
That is a choice everyone is entitled to make if they desire. But it’s not a healthy one.
You only get one shot at this life. It’s best if you make the most of it. We should control our choices to the best of our ability and not let something else control it.
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.