It has been a while since I posted about dealing with my mushroom phobia but I’m proud to report that I have continued to make progress I never would have imagined possible before last year. Every time I go to the grocery store I deliberately touch or pick up some of the largest whole mushrooms they have. The first time I grasped a large white one I was surprised by how much it reminded me of the kind of squeeze toy you might give a dog or a baby. They’re rubbery fuckers, I thought, and I wasn’t scared. When I see little ones in the lawn I sometimes dare myself to step on them, or to go walking in the grass with my eyes closed (to stop myself from focusing on where the mushrooms are). Though I don’t like doing these things I like being able to prove to myself that I can do them without freaking out. Eventually I’ll need to challenge myself to walk among larger mushrooms since I imagine that might still be difficult for me.
The progress that I’ve made so far has allowed me to do gardening, spend time in my yard, and even take a walk in the woods — activities that for decades I only did when forced to and with terrible panic/dread. Though I still feel very tense being out in nature it feels like something I could eventually enjoy. As my fear becomes smaller the rest of my world is getting larger, and I’m going to go there.