Fear is a sneaky little bastard. We imagine it lurking in dark corners of unkempt closets when in actuality it is often snuggled up in bed between two lovers.

And that, my friends, is where fear's power lies. It's the chameleon of emotions, often posing as one of its more forthright siblings...love or sadness, anger or indifference. And when in disguise, fear makes the average human...well...stupid. We lash out, push away, hold too tight, and sometimes shut down all together once fear takes control. All reason and rationality go out the window. The most even-keeled of women becomes a screaming banshee, the most chivalrous of men is suddenly a total jerk. At that point, communication is about as effective as flashing Morse code at a blind man. How do you fight an enemy you can't see?

Like most dangerous habits in life, admission is the first step to recovery. After all, He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named can only be defeated by those brave enough to call him out.

There are many things in this world that frighten me: tornadoes, brown recluse spiders, cheesy guys in yellow corvettes, being wrong about people, appearing needy, not living up to my own ideals. All of these things will paralyze me, some longer than others. Tornadoes pass, spiders can be stepped on, and cheesy guys drive off leaving joke fodder in their wake. The others? Those are a little more enduring.

But at least I'm able to call them by their rightful name.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.