bite my tongue / screw up my courage

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Senior Member
When talking about doing something one has always been afraid of dealing with.
What would be some good expressions to start the sentence with?

For example: For some one who has "rat" phobia,

"I ________ and decided to open the kitchen drawer to see if the rat was still inside.

I looked up an idiom dictionary and found "bite my tongue" but I am not sure if it fits the bill for that particular situation.

Thanks for your attention.
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