This blog was inspired by the lyrics to Eminem’s ‘Not afraid’; it’s on my running playlist and it never fails to inspire me…
(WARNING: Flashing Image)
Inside every chronically ill person is a yearning for their old life and a fully functioning body. However, the uncomfortable truth is that we are not who we used to be, dealing with illness is hard, but dealing with the fear of the unknown is often harder. Although, the reality is that we are afraid of what we THINK we know about our future.
This fear can cause you to live in a world of hurt. Your ego will be your greatest obstacle to having any hope of recovery or at least halting symptoms; it shows up when we are fearful and at a crossroads, it tries to pull you down; and it is the enemy of faith and hope.
During those first few months after diagnosis I was terrified, and I was convinced that my life was going to crumble around me; and so, there was nothing else for it but to never leave my house again! I then got angry and I told myself that I was not going to be a helpless victim, I would work through this condition at the same speed I always had done with everything else in my life. I tried to let go of some of the things on my to-do list, unfortunately those things were mainly sleep, cooking healthy meals and exercise. My fear of people feeling sorry for me was causing me to still put everything but my health and well-being first.
Fear is a normal and understandable reaction to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s or any other chronic illness; we are only human. Fear tells you to be afraid, that you are under attack, and to resent those who are not ill. I’m sure many of us have rolled our eyes when anyone dared moan about their silly ‘First-World Problems’, or looked jealously as someone arrogantly walking with a ‘normal’ gait who didn’t have any idea how lucky they were, and scoffed at the cheek of someone brazenly swinging both arms as they walked. When we are in pain, we either embrace it, numb it out with distractions, or else we inflict it on others, and that is what I did. I went through the numbing and inflicting it on others before I embraced the pain. I felt under attack, and so I wallowed in self-pity and martyrdom.
I realised that pushing the fear down and not dealing with it was not healthy. It needed to be addressed and it didn’t go away just because I ignored it. Sadness had a purpose to serve but I couldn’t get stuck in it. Rock bottom was a catalyst for change that forced me to look for solutions.
My thoughts about the future were just thoughts in my mind. I had a choice to make: run or rise? It was time to have faith in myself, miracles, the universe, God, hope and not forgetting medicine. It was not worth letting this in to destroy my inner peace, I needed to live in the moment. I’m not naïve and know that many people descend badly after diagnosis, but many do not! I was determined to be one of them. When the negative chatter begins, I just let it pass by, the scenarios that I am worried about haven’t happened yet and may never happen. Fear had been running the show for far too long. I would no longer be a victim to my thoughts. Worrying literally got me nowhere, so why was I allowing it to consume me?
So, are you ready to straighten your crown and show fear who it’s dealing with?