Just do it!

I’m afraid of the dark. Like for real afraid of the dark. It’s a childhood fear that never really went away, so here I am, a thirty-odd year old woman who gets anxiety in dark places.

So naturally I signed up to do Dining in the Dark. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s essentially just what it sounds like: eating a meal in the pitch black. Waiters bring in food using night-vision goggles. You eat everything with your hands. And, most of all, you have no idea what you’re eating.

When I first heard about it, I thought it sounded awesome, so I signed up with some friends. We had to book two months out (hi, crazy popular!) and I told myself I’d be completely fine. But in the days leading up to it, I started to feel nervous. That nervousness escalated into anxiety, which then escalated into full-blown fear. THE DARK. For two and a half hours. As we drove to the restaurant on Saturday, I won’t lie, I was sort of freaking out (but trying to play it off as best I could). We met our friends at the bar, chatted with the waiter about food allergies and dietary restrictions, and then it was go time.

We were led into a very dim room where our table was waiting. The waiter let us get settled, and then it was lights out. I won’t lie, it was pretty scary for the first few minutes. I completely wigged out over a flashing red light on one of the walls, thinking it was … well, I’m not sure what, really. A bomb? A spy camera? I have an overactive imagination. A number of ridiculously impossible scenarios floated through my mind until my husband pointed out it was a smoke detector, which … duh. Of course it was a smoke detector. Anyhow, after about ten minutes in the dark, the first course arrived, and all of my anxiety magically dissipated. I relaxed and let myself enjoy one of the most awesomest (real word) thing I’ve ever done. It’s true ā€” having your sight temporarily stripped and being made to rely on your other senses really does enhance the experience of eating!

This post doesn’t have anything to do with writing. I could make a really trite analogy if you want … ummm … dining in the dark is like writing because … you have no idea going in how it’s going to turn out and you just have to trust yourself! But really, my point is only this: Push yourself outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. You might just surprise yourself.

 

Posted in Me

15 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    Holy crud, just reading your post is making my chest hurt. I’m afraid of the dark, but it’s like a FREAK OUT kinda thing. I literally have woken up screaming and full blown panic mode because I couldn’t see. It’s like the dark cuts off my air and I’m afraid I’ll never see again… MUST STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS.

    I have a night light now. :)

    I am impressed you could manage it, I’m just not sure I could do that! I agree pushing outside the comfort zone is super important–it’s the best way to build confidence–but…ASDFASDFASDF. DARK DINING? I just can’t.

    • Meredith says:

      I’m prone to freak outs in the dark too. Many a night I’ve woken up in a panic and fumbled around for the lamp because I HAVE TO SEE NOW! So dining in the dark was a big hurdle, but I would absolutely do it again.

      P.S. Alcohol helps. šŸ˜‰

  2. Holly says:

    Um, yeah. I’m with Sooz here. I don’t think I’d be able to handle it. I’m seriously scared of the dark — and claustrophobic — and the dark presses in on you like you’re trapped in some sort of coffin, and OH MY GOODNESS, NO! lol

    I’m glad you had a great time. I’ve heard people love it, but it’s not something I’d go to willingly. šŸ˜‰

    • Meredith says:

      I think it definitely helped that you were able to see the room beforehand. It’s a pretty large room, and you can tell right where the exit is, but yeah … total darkness.

  3. Karen Strong says:

    Whoa, you were BRAVE! I don’t think I could have done it. I’m not afraid of the dark, but I have this phobia about food. I would be more freaked out about that more than anything! :)

    Sounds cool though…I’m impressed you did it.

    • Meredith says:

      It helped that they promised in advance that this wasn’t Fear Factor or anything, so they weren’t going to give us anything weird and gross!

  4. I think it’s awesome that you pushed yourself past your comfort zone (and yes that works with writing too). But I also think fear of the dark comes from overimagination which comes from WRITING. He he he.

  5. But my comfort zone is so comfy and stale! Wait… Okay yeah, maybe a little fieldtrip wouldn’t be a bad thing.
    – Sophia.

  6. Have you watched When In Rome? There’s a scene where they’re dining in the dark. Absolutely funny with the hijinks (and I’m always afraid that would happen to me). And again, yay you for doing it!

  7. Pam Harris says:

    Wow, I would totally freak if I went to that restaurant! Not only do I have to see what I’m eating, but the dark freaks me out–I have to have some kind of light on when I go to bed, even if it’s just the TV. But I do like the idea of facing your fears. Outside of the dark, I also fear public speaking–so I made sure to volunteer to present at a conference before. :)

  8. Donea Lee says:

    Way to go!! It’s nice to be able to face down a fear every once in awhile. I saw dining in the dark on the food network. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It’s something I’d like to do, too. Thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Monica B.W. says:

    Oh I would sign up for that too! And I’ve never heard of it… I thought eating in the dark was kind of fun! šŸ˜€

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