The word ‘phobia’ came to my mind and I decided to google it. Believe me, I was shocked at the kind of phobias I found. . . ablutophobia (fear of washing or bathing), acousticophobia (fear of noise), agyrophobia (fear of streets), cyclophobia (fear of bicycles), doxophobia (fear of compliments), menophobia (fear of menstruation), phobophobia (fear of FEARS) to mention a few. I have never for once imagined that one could be scared of bathing or bicycles or noise or scared of fear itself. Is it normal? Well, I once had a phobia too. Read on.
I used to hate Mathematics. Please, note the word ‘hate’. It used to be a trouble to me. The word itself was a turn-off. Throughout my Primary and Junior Secondary Schooling, I had problems with it. I can still envision myself in Primary two(2), standing on a table in front of the class and having everyone clapping and singin for me in mockery. That day, I had failed all my sums in maths and so the teacher asked me to come out and stand on a table in front of the classroom. I was crying profusely as my classmates were all singing,”Olodo rabata, oju eja lo mo je” for me. That was what was done for anyone who failed classwork. I was expected to dance at the mocking song. Was I a dullard? I don’t know! But I was good in other subjects, expecially in english. Knowing the problems I faced with it and the shame that accompanied looking like a dunce before others, I was scared of it. Now that was the phobia I had-fear of maths (mathphobia or mathaphobia or maths hysterics or maths anxiety). Whenever the word ‘maths’ was pronounced, my heart missed a beat. I can vividly remember a younger ME, staring at a maths question I couldn’t solve with fright and with misty eyes. I never solved maths questions, I just sat at my table crying silently when it was time for it.
Even when I was gotten a lesson teacher, I still hated it. I still feared it. And I always hoped my teacher would skip maths and teach me english. My extra lessons helped me. I improved A BIT in maths. From ‘poor’, I moved to ‘average’ and I was an average maths student till I finished junior secondary. Mind you, I was still scared of it. When I got into Senior Secondary, I made a resolution and that was to be good in maths. It was hard but I succeeded. I started by solving and solving and solving maths questions. From ‘average’, I moved to ‘good’ and trust me, I was no longer scared of Mr Maths. I happily remember being one of the best students in SS3 in maths.That ‘mathphobia’ was gone!! And that was because I tried and tried to overcome it.
A lot of us have fears like my fear for mathematics. But truth is, your fears will continue to haunt you until you stand on your feet and try your best possible to fight them. Fears do not go without hardwork, instead they grow bigger and gain ground against you. I agree there are other understandable fears like the fear of death but for unthinkable ones like my fear of maths, NO-NO. It’s best not to have fears for your fears. Face them. Fight them. Overcome them. Forget them. And if you’re having a particular fear you feel you can’t overcome on your own, then I suggest you see a psychologist who can help you. Nevertheless, you can trust me when I say that fears can disappear if you try your best to fight them.
Thank you for reading. And please, comment and share.