I feel really dumb being 23 and having a near crippling fear of the dark I can’t go anywhere in my house with out lights being on for comfort I feel this primal fear in the darkness I had to make a run down stairs to the bathroom at the place I’m crashing at tonight and I now can’t sleep I keep hearing the house creek and shift and I just panic with each noise and I just God I fucking hate this fear cuz it feels so childish
Everyone of every age has different fears to different degrees, no type of fear is more dumb than any other. It’s really, really unlikely that we find someone who is not afraid of anything. Fears all have their root in rationality. Fear of heights - most likely a fear of falling. Fear of spiders - most likely a fear of being bitten. Many people fear the unknown and uncertainty, that’s why we have a fear of the dark. This is your brain’s way of telling you to be careful, as we are not sure if what we cannot see is safe. Sometimes, this sense is overactive, your brain is trying to protect you, when there is no danger. The creaking definitely adds on to the anxiety and uncertainty that you might not be alone.
Perhaps you could use your phone as a flashlight so the darkness doesn’t feel too constricting. I have found that singing louder than my anxieties helps. Before turning off all the lights, you could also clear the rooms so you can be confident that nothing else is in there with you.
Good luck out there, I believe in you.
Any fear is valid just the way it is, and there is no shame to have for being scared of something. Yes, culturally speaking, the fear of the dark is associated nowadays to a fear that most people know when they are children, but realistically a lot of adults are scared of the dark. I am! And I’m 30 now. It’s a fear that has been present since forever and never left me. My mind can’t help imagining the worst if I have to be in a place that is dark, even if it’s my own home. Just like you, I run or panick if I have to walk into a dark place for too long.
There is nothing silly about being scared of the dark because it is objectively understandable to be scared of not seeing your immediate surroundings. You literally have your sight reduced during those times. It’s as if your physical senses couldn’t function the way you’re used to, so you feel suddenly less equipped against a potential threat. It may feel silly when it happens at your home or places where you know you are safe rationally, but fears are also primal reactions that have a reason to be and are meant to be a protective response. Even if it is frustrating, your mind and body are somehow trying to protect you in the midst of a perceived threat. That is okay.
Echoing @supportgremlin’s suggestion, I know that it personally helps me if I’m really panicking to state out loud that I am safe where I am, and to thank my body for trying to protect me. A kind of “thank you, although this alert mode is unecessary right now”.
Through it all, you are not your own enemy. You can free yourself from the shame that this fear may bring. Please be patient with yourself, as much as possible. You only deserve kindness.