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“F.E.A.R.” by Samantha Blakney

In October of 2022, we released our second Open Call: How might we view healing in mental health through art, letters, stories and poetry following the pandemic? The following is a story submission we received from this open call.

“In my submission, I discuss how to heal from a toxic relationship. When trauma is involved, your mental health is crucial. My own mental health experiences have been personal. In order to heal, I had to escape the mental abuse and toxic relationship I had been in for many years. In my experience, anyone can heal mentally if I can, but we must take the first step. A big part of healing is talking to someone. The issue of mental health is very important to me, and I am passionate about spreading awareness about it around the world.”

Samantha Blakney


What is Fear? F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. There is no true threat of immediate physical danger, no threat of a loss of someone or something dear to us, nothing there at all. F.E.A.R. is an illusion.

That is what I had in a relationship, always in my own head, living an illusion of what I thought would happen. I feared what he was going to do or what was going to happen to me. It was all an illusion that he put in my head.

I had to overcome my fear of leaving this relationship. I would talk to myself so much, thinking other people did not understand what I was going through. Fear can limit your ability to live a full life. I was in that space for a long time.

Fear can keep us suck in a place we do not need to be and getting over your fears can be scary. My fear was leaving a toxic relationship. I had comfort in not being happy. When Life throughs you so many lemons, most people make lemonade if they have all the ingredients. I got used to eating sore lemon and thought it was normal until my body said no more. This is not you.

I imagined the worst in everybody and everything because I was in a toxic relationship. Everything he said was negative. So, I vibrated in the same energy, always saw the worst in a situation, and got out. What he would be good, and I never saw the good until I step back and looked at myself and how I felt.

It was fear of the things he would do in secret that no one saw. No one is a bad person, but life makes people treat you in so many ways. It is up to you and your God to decide what is right.

With much help, I began to courage my fears, and I begin to talk about it a little more to people. I found a safe place. I tell myself I am loved, and I have a purpose for what I am here for, and I can get through this like so many other times.

I had to learn what my fears were. Why could I not leave this toxic relationship? What do I fear? My fear was leaving and having to come right back from lack of support. I had the support. I just did not know it. I was always in my own head thinking about how he would feel if I left him or if he will find me. I sought help, and I went to talk to someone. If a pipe burst, you would not ignore it. You call a plumber to fix the issue. I got the help I talk to someone to help me figure out a way.

I had to use my imagination for good. Instead of producing bad scenarios. I began to imagine the things I wanted and get out of the relationship in a positive way. I started to imagine my life without him and how much happier I am. Every time I was getting to upset with him, and I realized what it was I would imagine that life without him and calm myself down. Think of a way out.

Do not let your imagination lead you down the dark path. Of fear, purposely use it for overcoming fear. I had to do these many times. Everything seems hard at first, but you must keep trying and it will work. It worked for me.

Fear and anxiety come out of a certain part of your brain, and it allows emotion to overcome rational thought. When you feel your fearful symptoms coming on. Try to use a different part of your brain. Think about numbers or anything positive. I thought about my cooking and different spices and how would I feel to be doing the things I love. I thought about being healthy for mu kids.

Breathing is more important than you think. Anxiety begins with short breaths. The short breaths cause several negative reactions in your body, which quickly become an anxiety attack. The key to overcoming those fast outbreaks of anxiety is to control your breathing.

I had to learn that the hard way after arguments I would have anxiety attacks. I did not know what was going on, but I noticed when I am thinking about something he said or did, sometimes just being around him and yelling at me. Trying to get my point across to him gave me anxiety.

I had to learn to breathe and relax and not get upset for fear of what he will say or do. Breathing deep forces your body to physically calm itself down.

Grounding yourself works for me. I used to take a walk-in nature when I could. Take my shoes off and walk in the grass and just stand there sometimes enjoying nature or trees.

I let fear stop me from doing a lot of things that I love to do. Fear of what someone would say or do. Fear no one would help me in my situation. Fear stopped me from a lot of things, and it left me in a prison in my own mind that took me years and help to get out of to see my potential and live the life that I wanted in my case it was a toxic relationship I feared on leaving and once I got out of that fear I got out of that relationship. I went mental Health first, so I can talk to someone and start the process of healing my mind. It is always better to talk to someone to help you through it.

It is easier for some than most to let the fear go but when you do you feel so free. That is what I wanted to be. I had to overcome False Evidence that appear real.

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